A total of 300 people have traveled from Germany to Iraq and Syria to join the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) since 2013, with 150 of them subsequently returning home, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday.
According to DW, the federal government said in its answer to a parliamentary question posed by the right-wing Alternative Party for Germany (AfD) that 300 people from Germany went to the region to join the PKK and the YPG between June 2013 and September 2022.
Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
The German government added that there were Germans, Turks and Syrians in addition to people with Turkish-German dual nationality among those who joined the PKK and the YPG and that 150 of them later returned to Germany.
The government said it could not give definite answers about how many of the 300 people were fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The answer also included the information that seven people from extreme left groups left Germany to fight against ISIL and that one of them died, with the other six returning home.
The government also pointed out that the Federal Prosecutor General’s Office launched 49 investigations into 45 people who declared that they went to fight against ISIL between June 2013 and September 2022 and returned and that 41 of those investigations had been concluded.
According to data from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which is part of the German Ministry of the Interior, 30 out of 300 people who left Germany to join the PKK and the YPG since June 2013 died in conflict, DW said.