News / Europe

Turkish Kurds Want Ankara to Declare Stance on ISIL

Turkish Kurdish men chat in the village of Doruklu, in the border town of Silopi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, July 5, 2014.Turkish Kurdish men chat in the village of Doruklu, in the border town of Silopi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, July 5, 2014.
x
Turkish Kurdish men chat in the village of Doruklu, in the border town of Silopi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, July 5, 2014.
Turkish Kurdish men chat in the village of Doruklu, in the border town of Silopi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border, July 5, 2014.
Dorian Jones

The leadership of the Kurdish rebel group PKK has called on Ankara to "declare its stance on ISIL."

The PKK is accusing the Turkish government of backing ISIL in its battle against Syrian Kurds. Ankara has blamed the PKK for the deaths of three soldiers this week in a clash on the Syrian border. Concerns are now growing that the deepening tensions concerning the future of the Syrian Kurds could jeopardize peace efforts between the PKK and Ankara. 

In a statement issued by the leadership of the Kurdish rebel group the PKK, it warned the Turkish government its support of the radical Islamic group ISIL was incompatible with ongoing peace efforts.

The PKK claimed Ankara is providing logistical and medical support for ISIL in its battle against Syrian Kurds who declared an autonomous secular region called Rojava. International relations expert Cengiz Aktar of the Istanbul Policy Centre said, despite denials by Ankara, there is strong evidence of at least tacit support of ISIL.

"Turkey used ISIL and other groups to push its policy regarding Syrian Kurds and it employed ISIL, al-Nusra and al-Qaida offshoots for months if not years as subcontracting fighters," Ankara stated. "Turkey’s western partners were warning Turkey against this dangerous collaboration with radical Islamists." 

Ankara accuses the leadership of the Syrian Kurdish enclave, which borders Turkey’s own predominantly Kurdish region, as being under PKK control, a charge it denies. Observers say there are strong family and tribal ties between the two Kurdish minorities of Syria and Turkey. Many members of the PKK are Syrian Kurds.

Political columnist Asli Aydintasbas of the Turkish newspaper Milliyet says there is considerable support among many of Turkey’s Kurds for the plight of their Syrian kin.

"They are trying to develop local governance there and meanwhile fighting Jihadist and actually Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin from Turkey are crossing the border and going into the Syrian Kurdish territory to fight ISIL there," said Aydintasbas.

According to local media reports, this month nearly 1,000 Kurds from Turkey entered Syria to fight ISIL. Experts say the surge in numbers follows ISIL's launch of a major offensive against the Syrian Kurds, using heavy weapons secured from recent victories against the Iraqi army. Ankara's efforts to beef up its military presence along the Syrian-Kurdish border has only increased tensions and drawn further criticism from both the PKK and pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey.

Earlier this week three Turkish soldiers and six suspected PKK members were killed in a clash on the Syrian border. Despite the rising tension, analyst Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar for the Carnegie Europe institute in Brussels, said the current peace process between Ankara and the PKK will continue for now.

"The peace process in Turkey has its own dynamic, it will not be derailed by what is going on beyond Turkey, that is essentially the two sides are firmly committed to this process, both the Kurdish side but also the Turkish government. And they certainly would not want this process to collapse for factors beyond their control," stated Ulgen.

The peace process between Ankara and the PKK seeks to end a 3-decade-long conflict for greater Kurdish rights.

Although the process remains stalled, the government has promised progress will be made after next month’s presidential elections.

Observers warn patience running out among pro-Kurdish activists, and that a key test of the government’s sincerity is not only over the steps its takes in Turkey but also in neighboring Syria.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Agir2014
July 26, 2014 11:56 AM
It is the only Kurds who now fights against the ISIS gangs.It is the Kurds who preserve their dignity and honour in this bloody war. It is the Kurds who displayed great courage and sacrifices without international community support.The Kurds will be victories. The others can play their dirty tricks and behave without any moral integritiy.

by: Xorto from: Amed
July 26, 2014 12:34 AM
A Kurd cannot be Turk at the same time. Unlike Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian which are geographical terms, Turkish refers to a single ethnicity. Therefore, there cannot be "Turkish Kurd" since an individual cannot be Turk and Kurd at the same time. The correct term is "Turkey's Kurds", "Kurds of Turkey" or simply "Turkey Kurds"


by: meanbill from: USA
July 26, 2014 12:13 AM
THE KURDS of Turkey... should ask the Turkey government why they help the US, EU, and NATO countries arm and train the foreign Sunni Muslim fighters, (including the ISIL), to wage war on the Shia Muslim led countries of Syria and Iraq? _ and the Kurds, Christians and almost everybody.... (The Turks should know, why they do it for the US, EU, and NATO countries, shouldn't they?)

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 25, 2014 7:48 PM
In my view, Erdogan is not a trustwhorthy individual, on numerous sit he has turned his back on allies, the worst was his rejection to participate and support its NATO allies, especially support its operations on Turkish soil on Iraq/Afghanistan.
Just before ISIL, now IS took over 1/3 of Iraq, came the takeover of Mosul. The staffing of that Turkish consulate was unusual wrt the number of people; consulates usually carry out adminstrative duties, staffed by small numbers of people. IS captured the staff and relatives, the media indicated large numbers of military personel, soon after the story died.
Who were the turkish staff training? Was the capture stagged for cover? The strangest part, Erdogan is extremely outspoken, threatening, and quite vindictive? not much of this, normally expected behavior was observed and commented by in the media. No movement of Turkish troops were reported in the media towards the Iraqi border...an so on.
All the normal responses from Erdogan, as observed in past similar situations; the entire sit in my view was stagged.
Essentially, I think Erdogan and IS have some form of understanding, maybe it was a forced agreement, maybe not. The fact now, that Erdogan has not stood by his new Kurd "allies" in Syria, I think he has switched from supporting the moderate opposition to Assad, to supporting IS.
Maybe I read more into the sit, than there is; if it proves correct, the entire geopolitical sit in the ME has fundamentally changed for the worse, especially how the US deals with IS once a real unity gvmt is formed in Iraq..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More