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Duran Kalkan
Born 1954
Güzelim, Tufanbeyli, Turkey[1]
Occupation Member of the KCK Executive Committee
Military career
Nickname Selahattin Abbas
Allegiance Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Battles/wars Kurdish–Turkish conflict

Duran Kalkan (born 1954), also known as Selahattin Abbas[2] is a senior commander of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a militant organization listed in the Foreign Terrorist Organizations the US Department of State.[3] The group is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.[4] Kalkan was born in Güzelim, Tufanbeyli to a family that immigrated from Erzurum.[5] Initially, serving as a guerilla commander in the PKK, he succeeded Riza Altun as the PKK's transnational money manager in the late 1980s and managed the organisations finances in Germany until the early 1990s when he moved to Iraqi Kurdistan, to evade arrest warrants.[6] There he served as commander in the Arteshen Rizgariya Gelli Kurdistan (ARGK) and member of the PKK's Presidential Council,[7] eventually becoming a member of the Executive Council of the Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK).[8]

Along with Ali Haydar Kaytan,[9] Cemil Bayık and Mustafa Karasu he is viewed as one of the hardliners among the PKK's leadership, which oppose peace negotiations with Turkey,[10] claiming that "the Kurds have gained all they have by resisting"[11] and accusing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of developing a conspiracy to destroy the Kurdish national movement[12] and is trying to deceive Kurds.[11] On July 10, 2010 his name appeared on the list of 448 PKK members of which Turkey wished extradition from Iraq.[13]

Suspicions of drug trafficking

On April 4, 2011, Kalkan, along with five other PKK leaders (Cemil Bayik, Remzi Kartal, Sabri Ok and Adem Uzun) was designated by the United States Department of the Treasury as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), freezing all assets these five leaders had under US jurisdiction and preventing any US citizens from conducting financial or commercial transactions with them.[14] A move that was applauded by Turkey.[15] Remzi Kartal however, released a statement claiming that "the PKK has never been involved in drug trafficking. In the Turkish psychological war efforts in their own media the Turkish State often used this type of black propaganda against the PKK. The Turkish State has been lying about this and the people can see through these lies. In the thirty years of our struggle thousands of our members are subjected to harassment and imprisonment for political reasons. But neither in Turkey nor anywhere else in the world has it ever been proven that the PKK members were involved in drug trafficking."[16]

References

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