Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – The representation office of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia, which opened in Prague in April 2016, has closed because it failed to launch cooperation with Czech politicians and win support for the recognition of its nation, daily Pravo wrote on Monday.

The group led by Sheruan Hassan, with permanent residence in the Netherlands, was to contribute to the protection and support of the interests of the people of Kurdistan and focus on promotion of Kurds, humanitarian aid and international cooperation, the paper writes.

According to Pravo’s sources, the group withdrew from Prague shortly after the opening of the office.

Lawyer Slavomir Hrinko, who provided legal services for the group and in whose real estate the office had its official seat, told the paper that the lease agreement with YPG Europe group was not extended.

Czech diplomacy has taken a reserved stance on contacts with the YPG.

Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said the Czech Republic does not recognise the so-called Syrian Kurdistan as a subject of international law. “The Foreign Ministry has not maintained any contact with the group,” she told the paper about the Kurdish office.

The office seems to have faced problems related to security threats and diplomacy.

Political scientist Michael Murad, from Brno’s Masaryk University, said Czech diplomacy based its position on the YPG’s links to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the European Union and the USA consider terrorist groups.

“The links are clear. The PKK was at the foundation of the PYD and they are narrowly connected in terms of ideology and military. The YPG is the militia of the PYD. It is of key importance that the Czechs are allies of Turkey that is in NATO, and Turkey may not want such (Kurdish) office to be in our country,” Murad told Pravo.

The PKK has been listed among terrorist groups due to its terrorist activities in Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s and attacks in Germany in the 1990s, the paper writes.

Murad said the Prague office was important for the Kurds as a symbol, as their “diplomatic office.”

Pravo writes that the Czechs relations to Turkey and Kurds are currently difficult also because of the case of two Czech citizens whom Turkish authorities arrested in November over suspected arms deliveries to Kurdish militia.

The colleagues of the two suspects dismiss this and said they focused on humanitarian aid and raised money for a hospital. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek who leaves for Turkey today believes that the two suspects would be expelled to the Czech Republic.

The Kurds are active fighters against the Islamic State organisation in the Middle East. In Europe, more than one million Kurds has been living, mostly in Germany. The Kurdish community based in the Czech Republic has only about 300 members. According to international estimates, there are 30-35 million Kurds, but they live as a minority in the territory of existing countries, mainly Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran and the Caucasus, Pravo writes.

Ivan Bartos, leader of the extra-parliamentary Pirates, tried to arrange meetings between the YPG Prague office and Czech parliamentary security committees and senators, but he did not succeed.

“Given the tense situation in Turkey that uses refugee affairs to blackmail Europe, high (Czech) politicians correctly considered support for the YPG also a way for the future recognition of the independent Kurdistan. With regard to the Czech relations with Turkey, this seems to be assessed as undesirable,” Bartos said.

Czech politicians vary in their views of the Kurdish activities.

Civic Democrat (right-wing opposition ODS) leader Petr Fiala said he warned Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) against alleged ties between the YPG and Russian separatists in the Donetsk republic.

Fiala said he did not support the foundation of an independent Kurdistan, although he supposed that the extent of Kurdish autonomy would be defined by a possible agreement on the peace organisation of Syria.

Right-wing opposition TOP 09 deputy head Marek Zenisek said the Kurds should receive support and aid thanks to their fight against the IS.