Former Turkish opposition MP resigns as Socialist International vice president over Afrin statement
Former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Umut Oran has resigned as vice president of the Socialist International (SI) after the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” as a result of Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Afrin in northern Syria.
“I am resigning over the statement entitled ‘the SI warns of another humanitarian disaster in Syria,’” Oran said in a written statement on Jan. 27.
“I find the statement [made by the SI] ‘unacceptable’ as it fails to analyze the developments in the region accurately. The statement also misinforms the international community about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] and the People’s Protection Units [YPG] that are armed and trained by the imperialist powers the U.S and the West, and it also fell short of underlining the importance of the territorial integrity of the Syrian state,” he added.
“I believe the struggle our soldiers are carrying out against terror organizations that pose threats to Turkey is right,” said Oran, adding that the military’s such anti-terror efforts should not be hampered.
Turkey considers the YPG as the offshoot of the PKK and, hence, a terrorist group.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to remove YPG militants from Afrin.
Oran also said he was not consulted about the content of the statement which “all of a sudden” appeared on the SI’s website.
“I consider this ‘pirate statement’ as an attack against myself and my party [CHP],” Oran said, adding that it is up to the CHP to make its own assessments following his resignation.
“I believe the CHP will take necessary measures against this unjust and unlawful act [by the SI],” he noted.
Oran had been serving as vice president of the Socialist International since 2015.
In its statement released on Jan. 25, the Socialist International said “the Turkish military incursion into Syrian territory has brought a dangerous new dimension to the conflict in that country, with severe humanitarian repercussions for the civilian populations in the targeted areas.”
“The Socialist International therefore calls on the Turkish government to stop military operations that undermine the efforts of achieving regional peace and threaten civilian life. Recognizing the legal obligation of states, Turkey must allow humanitarian assistance to once more reach Afrin,” the statement added.