INTERNATIONAL > Terrorism ‘cost of Turkish support for Syrian people’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

The increased terror attacks in Turkey is the price for the country’s support for the ‘Syrian people,’ according to Iraq’s exiled vice president Tariq al-Hashemi

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‘PKK terrorism is the cost Turkey is paying because of its alliance with the people, not with the regimes’ al-Hashemi (R) says in an interview with Hurriyet Daily News reporter İpek Yezdani. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

‘PKK terrorism is the cost Turkey is paying because of its alliance with the people, not with the regimes’ al-Hashemi (R) says in an interview with Hurriyet Daily News reporter İpek Yezdani. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

Escalation in the terrorist activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey is to be expected, because of Turkey’s allying itself with the Syrian people against the al-Assad regime, fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi has said.

“PKK terrorism is the cost Turkey is paying because of its alliance with the people, not with the regimes, of the region. I am expecting more attacks will be carried out by the PKK, because this is a pressure card played by the Syrian regime and supported by other regional forces to blackmail Turkey to stop its support for the people of this region,” al-Hashemi said, speaking to Hürriyet Daily News Aug. 30.

Al-Hashemi, who has been granted a residence permit by the Turkish government, had been in Qatar for more than a month but had just returned to Turkey, where he is living in the Başakşehir district of Istanbul.

‘Don’t waste your time’

Asked if the Turkish government’s talks with the Kurdistan Regional Goverment (KRG) seeking greater cooperation on preventing PKK activities in northern Iraq would yield results, al-Hashemi said “The indirect approach is a waste of time.”

“There is a political problem which is transferred into violence by the PKK. If we want to stop the violence, my humble advice would be to please open [the issue] directly with the people concerned. Don’t waste your time,” al-Hashemi said.

Al-Hashemi said he believed there was still room for the PKK to be convinced to lay down arms and stop the bloodshed in Turkey.

“Being a very close friend to Turkey, I think that apart from military actions, the time has come for the Turkish government to make very different, historical decisions as to how to accommodate this problem, by endeavoring to put an end to this fight,” al-Hashemi said.

‘Iraq became a corridor of support for the Syrian regime’

Al-Hashemi also said the Iraqi government is providing the Syrian regime with all manner of support, and that in fact Iraq has become a “corridor of support” for the Syrian regime.

“Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has even sent some Iraqi militia members to assist the Syrian regime in their massacres. The Free Syrian Army has caught some of these Iraqis and made them confess on video. Some Iraqi banks have given financial support to Syria, breaking the economic embargo. Militias, ammunition, money, et cetera: Everything can easily go through from Iraq to Syria,” al-Hashemi said.

Al-Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim, fled first to northern Iraq and then to Turkey after being accused of running a death squad by the Iraqi authorities, including al-Maliki, a Shiite. The vice president has dismissed the allegations as politically motivated.

Al-Hashemi said he did not know if his stay in Turkey would be longer than necessary.

“My colleagues in Iraq, leaders of the Al-Iraqiye group and the leader of the KRG sent me messages last April when I was about to leave Turkey, requesting that I stay in Turkey until the problem in Iraq is resolved. I might stay in Turkey for some time; however, this is not a permanent residency. Me, my family and a couple of people from my team got temporary residence permits in order to ease the visa problems that we face,” al-Hashemi said.

Al-Hashemi said Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki has deprived him of his right to defend himself in court, and to transfer the trial from Baghdad to Arbil or Kirkuk. “I am purely innocent, and my guards who are being tortured and put in prison by the [al-]Maliki goverment are also innocent. I need more support from the Turkish government and the Turkish people, also for my guards, who are in a very difficult situation,” he said.


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Notice on comments

Sezer Yılmaz

8/31/2012 10:25:03 PM

Unfortunately some parts are true but pkk was suported by their old regime, so i didn't find him honest. For know if the government continues supports syrian civils, it'll more affect on pkk's attacks. I think the government should stop the endorsment and look their real job because pkk problem is more important than syrian civil war.

ilker avni

8/31/2012 9:12:57 PM

Pkk is a ideology,it has no political agenda,pkk is very similar to Taliban ideology,except with pkk has no relgious agenda,pkk claim they represent Kurds,but the Kurds have woken up to they ideology and has rejected them.Kurdish villages were taken over by pkk in the south east of Turkey.The pkk terroised the villagers with they so called rule of laws were imposed on the villagers,they asked for help from the goverment who sent in troops to drive out the pkk.So not even the Kurds want Pkk.

Aryeh Rapaport

8/31/2012 4:45:06 PM

Recep, once again blame America. When will you ever take responsibility for your actions? Its backward to blame other people! Though Turkey supported Assad for a couple of months during the uprising she finally changed her mind (thank god!!) because she recognized no sane person can support such insane, unjust acts against innocent people. The PKK will attack again because if you smack someone they will smack you back. If you dont want to get smacked (suffer) dont inflict suffering on them.

Hakan Salci

8/31/2012 4:29:16 PM

The title of this article should read, 'Terrorism - The Cost paid by Syrians for Turkish Support'. This is what happens when you meddle in the internal affairs of a soverign state; what did Turkey expect? If the AKP government did not forsee such permutations then they are even more incompetent than I had imagined. @ Blue, spot on, this is the product of Our Great Leaders delusions of asserting hegemony over the Sunni World. Well what comes around goes around and its Turkey that will pay one day

Recep Ozel

8/31/2012 12:17:02 PM

We as the Turkish public are fully aware that our government has been cornered by the US into supporting a terrorist campaign to topple the Syrian government. Of course the PKK will attack again, so that our government and inexperienced new military leaders have no choice but to continue the campaign against Syria. Why are we listening to an Iraqi on the topic of our national security?!

Shah Hamdan

8/31/2012 9:29:47 AM

Tariq al-Hashemi can be an excellent adviser for anti terrorist activities in country. He has a decades of terrorist experience. A terrorist will know better how to control and destroy terrorist especially Al QAEDA in Turkey.

ilker avni

8/31/2012 6:27:46 AM

The price Turkey is paying for standing up for the people of Syria.is worth paying.Britain paid a far bigger price,for standing up to Hitler during world war two,whem she was all alone,was Britain wrong to do so even when outnumbered? No of course not,without Britain the world would be a different world to day, tomorrow Syria will be a better Syria.What we in the west take for granted, some people have never tasted,,that magic called freedom.

vedos mick

8/31/2012 6:15:40 AM

Turkey's biggest problem is the extreme delays and snail's pace at which the Syrian conflict is going. This irritates people because they want it ended so they can get back to their lives. Turkey and NATO can't even point to any real victories in Syria either, such a disaster and embarassment.

Blue Beyond

8/31/2012 3:26:30 AM

Isn't it more correct to say that terrorism is the price Turkey is paying for PM Erdogan's attempt to assert hegemony over the Sunni world? Is there a bigger price to pay: if a Kurdish semi-autonomous region is established in Syria and joins with the same in Iraq, they may have larger plans and Turkey will fragment. All because of Mr. Erdogan's ego. Now Russia and Israel will develop Mediterranean natural gas and keep Turkey out. That's because of Mr. Erdogan's ego too. Did Turks choose wisely?

Ismail Hijazi

8/31/2012 12:26:32 AM

pkk is a hire for murder criminal gang used by the enemies of Turkey to clandestinely attack Turkey. pkk does not represent any political agenda, and their claim to fight for Kurdish rights within Turkey is all but hogwash to cover their true ugly face. What can anyone talk about or negotiate with a murderer? Negotiate about the number of victims the murderer intends to claim? Total nonsense. pkk is not interested in negotiations. Only results can be achieved by destroying them in total.
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