An international observer of Turkey’s recent referendum allegedly raised funds for a branch of the PKK -- the terrorist group responsible for thousands of deaths in Turkey -- as well as supported lawmakers charged with having PKK ties, and openly took sides ahead of the referendum, according to various media and public sources.
On Monday, a joint report by Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) election observers claimed that an “unlevel playing field" had characterized the weekend referendum, but Turkish officials have blasted the conclusions as “biased”.
In 2014, Danish MP Nikolaj Villumsen, who served on the PACE observation team and belongs to the left-wing Enhedslisten party, helped raise money for the YPG, the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch, with the party donating some $8,000 to the YPG, Danish daily Jyllands-Posten reported in March 2014.
The PKK, the YPG’s parent organization, has been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
More than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.
Observer and campaigner
On April 6, in the run-up to Turkey’s April 16 referendum, Villumsen and Pernille Skipper, another Enhedslisten MP, posted a video on Villumsen's Facebook account urging Turkish citizens living in Denmark to cast No votes.
A preliminary report by the election observers -- critical of the conduct of the referendum -- was issued after the Yes votes unofficially won with 51.41 percent, while the No votes stood at 48.59 percent.
Despite openly taking sides, Villumsen was in the Aegean city of Izmir on the day of the referendum in his role as PACE election observer.
On April 6, Enhedslisten posted a photo on its website showing Villumsen holding a photo of an imprisoned lawmaker of Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Turkish prosecutors have charged numerous HDP deputies with membership in the terrorist PKK.
On Nov. 13, 2016, Villumsen also tweeted, "Hundreds protest arrest of HDP parliamentarians and mayors in #Aarhus, Denmark #SolidaritywithHDP," showing his clear support for the HDP.
In addition, last October, in Denmark’s parliament Villumsen and Rasmus Nordqvist of the Alternative Party raised the issue of the so-called Armenian genocide, an issue Turkish officials say is being used to falsify history in order to harm Turkey.
Since the referendum, in addition to Villumsen, Turkish officials have decried how another PACE election observer, German MP Andrej Hunko, held up the flag of the terrorist PKK in a posed rally photo.