Erdogan urges West to stop sympathizing with Kurds, says Europe ‘is dancing in a minefield’


Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

ARA News

ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Friday on the western countries to stop sympathizing with what he described as the “outlawed Kurds”, saying Europe is “dancing in the minefield”.

Erdogan’s angry remarks came days after the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a splinter group of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for an attack on February 17, killing at least 36 and injuring 61 others.

“There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara cannot explode in Brussels, or in any other European city. Despite this clear reality, European countries are paying no attention, as if they are dancing in a minefield,” Turkish president said, refereeing to the blast that hit Ankara last week.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed concern over the fate of the Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey, especially after the government’s recent military operations have been intensified against Kurds in Sirnak and Diyarbakir under the pretext of combatting the PKK rebels.

“The EU will continue denouncing Turkish actions regarding the protection of press freedom or the treatment of the Kurds,” Merkel said. 

In July 2015, the Turkish crackdown started on the Kurdish areas, ending a two-year ceasefire agreement between the PKK and the government. 

The ‘anti-terrorist’ operations claimed the lives of at least 224 civilians, including 42 children, 31 women, 30 people over the age 60 in the south-east, according to the Turkish Human Rights Foundation.

In February, several rights reports blamed Turkish security forces for burning some 150 civilians to death in the Kurdish town of Cizre, in Turkey’s south-east.

In the meantime, Turkish president criticized the EU for the way it handles thousands of refugees from the Middle East, who cross illegally into Europe through Turkey.

Late on Friday, a number of European officials in Brussels confirmed the agreement with Ankara, regarding the refugees’ crises, “has been approved.”

Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish Human rights activist Nechirvan Qadri said Turkey is paving the way to intervene militarily into Syria, not for fighting the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), but to stand against the Kurdish forces.

“After Syria has been actually divided up on the ground, Turkey tries to incite Syrian Kurds through launching attacks on locations for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) on the Syria-Turkey border,” he stressed. 

The Kurdish activist pointed out that Turkish people should stand in the face of Erdogan’s government if he continued intervening in Syria’s Kurdish affairs.

Turkey has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the West’s support for Syrian Kurds. However, the west views Syrian Kurds as the best ground troops fighting ISIS in the Middle East. 

Reporting by: Partizan Ahmad

Source: ARA News

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