Turkey’s anti-PKK fight is not against all Kurds: PM
AP photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has tried to ease Iraqi Kurds’ concerns by stressing the Turkish military’s operations in northern Iraq were specifically targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and not all Kurds.
“Some picture the operations against the PKK as a war against Kurdish people and Kurdish groups. It isn’t. The anti-PKK operations we are conducting are not targeting Kurdish people, are not against Kurdish people,” Davutoğlu told a group of visiting Iraqi Kurdish journalists late Aug. 13 in Ankara.
The Turkish military has launched a comprehensive aerial campaign on PKK hideouts in northern Iraq in retaliation to the terrorist organization’s recent attacks inside Turkey. The aerial strikes have caused concerns among Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish political groups.
“Our Kurdish brothers on the other side of the border, our Turkmen brothers on the other side of the border are very important to us... Anyone who says that ‘Turkey is fighting Kurdish’ defames [and] is telling an abject lie,” he said.
Davutoğlu recalled Turkey did its upmost during the Kobane resistance led by Syrian Kurdish groups and provided assistance to Iraqi Kurdish groups in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), reiterating that the country would continue to stand with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq to this end.
“This operation [against the PKK] is an operation against terror. In the same way as our operations carried out in Syria against Daesh [ISIL] were not against Arabs… our operations carried out in Iraq against the PKK are not against Kurdish people, and they are not targeting Kurdish people. Be sure that if anything happens to one of our neighbor Kurdish brothers, we will stand by him,” Davutoğlu said.