News / Europe

    Serbia Wants Clarification Following Turkish ‘Sniper’ Report

    FILE - Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, stand in a bunker in Sirnak, Turkey, Dec. 23, 2015.
    FILE - Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, stand in a bunker in Sirnak, Turkey, Dec. 23, 2015.

    Serbia is demanding “clarification” from Turkey after pro-government media outlets reported that a “rented” Serbian sniper fighting for the Kurdish PKK rebels had been killed by Turkish security teams.

    The Serbian news agency Tanjug and other media said the Serbian ambassador to Turkey had gone to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and that the Turkish ambassador to Serbia had been summoned to the Serbian Foreign Ministry.

    Serbian media could not confirm the Turkish reports of the sniper. The Turkish government has offered no confirmation of the alleged incident.

    Most of the reports in the Turkish media about rented Serbian snipers were attributed to “intelligence units,” without any names or affiliations. Most mainstream Turkish media did not report the story.

    The staunchly pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported that a Serbian sniper hired by the PKK had been captured in the border town of Cizre in southeastern Turkey. Another pro-government daily, Vatan, reported that one Serbian sniper had been killed by Turkish forces and another had been caught in that PKK stronghold.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said only that foreign snipers who were fighting for the PKK in Turkey’s Kurdish cities had been killed. Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala later called the stories of “Serbian snipers” speculation and baseless.

    “We do not disclose information about their nationalities,” he said.

    Longtime tension

    The reports are stirring old tensions. The Balkans were under Turkish control for about 500 years during the Ottoman Empire, and brutal wars ensued after independence. That history has long undermined relations between Turkey and Serbia.

    Serbia took offense in 2013 when then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed solidarity with the former Serbian province of Kosovo, which gained its independence in 2008.

    Three years earlier, a pro-Turkish government newspaper said the PKK was using Serbian snipers to try to kill Turkish generals. The newspaper also claimed Serbian snipers killed 250 Bosnians during the Balkan wars.

    But in recent years, Belgrade and Ankara have tried to keep good relations. Serbian authorities said that if reports of a Serbian sniper in the PKK were true, they wanted to help Turkey curb the practice.

    “The embassy expects to be officially informed about the case by the Turkish side, so the relevant Turkish and Serbian institutions can work together on its clarification in the aim of the fight against terrorism," the Serbian Embassy said in a statement.

    But Ali Akel, a journalist-commentator from Turkey, told VOA the Turkish reports were less about Serbia and more about discrediting the PKK and demonstrating its violent ways.

    The sniper reports came as Turkey is facing blistering international criticism of its violent crackdown against Kurdish rebels and predominately Kurdish towns in southeastern Turkey.

    “Sometimes the foreign fighters are Armenians, sometimes as in this case they happen to be Serbians or uncircumcised non-Muslims,” Akel said. “It is done for spreading fabricated information. It is a sort of psychological war.”

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Kardo
    February 05, 2016 3:51 AM
    Let's investigate how many isis have said they get logistics and arms from Turkey have been caught and bring turkey to justice .oh wait the national allies don't like this idea.
    In Response

    by: Mert from: TÜRKİYE
    February 06, 2016 2:25 AM
    Hey little shiite, kurdish go and play your hell. Here is Türkiye to accept it or not. We are muslim and will be forever. Anybody can not accept that nonse allegations. Show us a photo, witness, evidence...Prove it. But you just want to calumniate to Türkiye for detract. Do not forget we are giant as big as than you can not imagine.DUMB
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    February 05, 2016 12:32 PM
    Mert from: TÜRKİYE
    You live in an imaginary world where the Turks are not dumb. But in real world, Turks are dumb savages, and Turkey = ISIS
    In Response

    by: Mert from: TÜRKİYE
    February 05, 2016 5:58 AM
    hey little kurdish there is no any clue or sign that Türkiye support ISIL. Sorry but unsuccesful trial lets try again but convince people....

    by: Igor from: Russia
    February 04, 2016 10:17 PM
    Serbia can never trust Turkey because of its history invasions and genocide of other peoples. Turkey still denies its genocide of Armenians which is recognized by the world. If you deny your past crime, you will repeat it in the future!
    In Response

    by: muhammet from: T.C
    February 07, 2016 9:35 AM
    ok russia is the most cleanest country (hahahahh) in whole disgusting sinfull world,about so called genocide , you cant blame only turks because in that time ottoman empire in charge,as we said empire mixed nations,ok bb
    In Response

    by: Zach from: Ohio
    February 05, 2016 10:35 AM

    Before alleging a crime or blaming somebody think two times. Americans must look to themselves. We've killed millions upon millions of people. The absolute destruction of nearly 300 Indian tribes which no longer exist as well as the genocide of Native Americans in this country's first 200 years as a nation is disgraceful. The men who committed, planned, and perpetrated this genocide are still honored, revered, posted on our dollar bills, and collectively admired, our "founding fathers".

    Let's not forget about the treatment of African Americans for the first 250 years of this nation, and even today. And that is not even bringing up the millions upon millions of those killed in foreign lands, as the United States has been at war for the past 70 years. The most stark example is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed an estimated 300-400 K civilians. Yes, take it from America to play the moral card on ANYBODY lol
    In Response

    by: Ted from: TEXAS
    February 05, 2016 5:54 AM
    before allege a crime or blame somebody think two times. russians must look theirselves. you've killed 22 million people. for instance :

    germans, ukranians, chechens, czechs, poles, turks, bulgarians, romanians, azerbaycans, yourselves, finally SYRİANS.

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