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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid