ERBIL — Following a period of political crackdown from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdistan Free Society Party (Tevgeri Azadi) — a group affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has now reportedly opened offices with no names and flags to remain active and anonymous.
Under the pressure from Turkey, the PUK, which is dominant in Sulaymaniyah province and controls the security forces, began to close down the PKK-linked offices last November. It argued that Tevgeri Azadi had not obtained an official approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to open offices.
However, the PUK is also under a massive pressure from the PKK to avoid Turkey and allow its offsprings to operate.
Mohammad Amin Penjweni, a Kurdish political observer, confirmed that Tevgeri Azadi is now resided in different buildings across Sulaymaniyah with no flags or party banners. “They appear like an ordinary house… but they work secretly,” he added.
In August 2017, Turkey closed down the PUK representative office in Ankara and expelled the party’s envoy. It came a month after the PKK forces captured two members of Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in Dukan district of Sulaymaniyah province.
Earlier this month, the PUK-affiliated security forces closed down two more offices in Sulaymaniyah for their links to the PKK. However, the offices were re-opened only hours after the closure.