By Hasan Esen
LONDON (AA) - While the EU continues to oppose Turkey's anti-terrorism efforts in northern Syria, the bloc's institutions and member countries continue harboring members of the PKK, despite it being on the EU terror list.
Most-wanted PKK terrorists are frequent participants in events of the European Parliament.
According to the Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2019 by EU police agency Europol, the PKK has been forcefully collecting funds from Kurdish businesses in Europe, while partaking in drug and human trafficking activities across the continent.
In 2015, Europol recognized the existence of PKK training camps in Belgium, as well as the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland in 2017.
PKK-linked associations, foundations and media groups in France were found to easily be able to disseminate the terrorist organization's propaganda.
The report found that many groups with ties to the PKK were also present in Belgium, where it said the terrorists' so-called Europe leaders resided.
According to the German government, hundreds have left the country to join the ranks of either the PKK or YPG, with the total being 204 in 2017.
PKK terrorists in the U.K. were found to operate as an organized criminal group, committing such crimes as drug and human trafficking.
Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are known to openly support the PKK.
The PKK/PYD has an representative office in Greece and the Lavrion refugee camp southeastern Greece continues to be under PKK control.
The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Austria are also among the countries where the PKK is able to conduct activities with no serious repercussions.
Europe's tolerance, and at times support, towards the PKK is harshly criticized by Turkey, which accuses Europe of ignoring its security concerns.
Ankara accuses Europe of being insincere in counter-terrorism, due to its criticism of Turkey's fight against the PKK.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist groups there, to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara