No civilians remain in Kobane, Turkish deputy PM says

No civilians remain in Kobane, Turkish deputy PM says

ADIYAMAN – Anadolu Agency
No civilians remain in Kobane, Turkish deputy PM says

Deputy PM Bülent Arınç. AA Photo

Nearly 1,000 people in the Syrian town of Kobane are fighting in clashes with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists, but no civilians are left in the town, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.

“No civilians are left in Kobane. All of them are in Turkey,” Arınç told reporters.

He claimed that there are people who are fleeing Democratic Union Party (PYD) fighters and want to take shelter in Turkey, and also suggested that Kobane had "not received the support it expected from other Kurdish groups."

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been avoiding fighting in Kobane because it does not have such a capability, he claimed.

“They can only fight in the mountains and against soldiers, police, teachers and judges … It’s easy to kidnap people, but they could not and cannot fight in Kobane. We could say more, but they would be embarrassed,” Arınç said.

The issue is not about Kobane, but launching an "uprising for which they very much have yearned,” the deputy prime minister also said, referring to the recent violent protests across Turkey.

Kobane not 'pretext' for uprising

Arınç also said that the fighting in Kobane should not be used as a pretext for unrest in Turkey by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), questionning the Kurdish-leftist bloc's good intentions.

“The issue is not about Kobane. What they want is to launch the uprising they have been longing for on the pretext of Kobane. But they could not do so and will not be able to succeed. ” he said.

The deputy prime minister warned the Kurdish political movement that the government would respond “severely” to any such attempt. “We’ll collapse their world around them,” he added.

Arınç also accused the HDP of provoking trouble in the protests across Turkey. “The HDP is responsible for all the killings and the material as well as moral damage during the incidents,” he claimed.

Citing HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş’s remarks in which he justified the protests by referencing the Kurdish people’s disappointment for Kobane and their alienation over the stalled peace process, Arınç said “all this cannot be simply explained with disappointment.”

More than 34 people have died in protests across Turkey, mainly in its southeastern provinces, which erupted after ISIL militants entered parts of Kobane on Oct 6.

The HDP called on people in Turkey Oct. 6 to demonstrate for solidarity with Kobane, where Syrian Kurds have been holding out against the advances of ISIL militants.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz stressed that the peace process aimed at ending the decades-old Kurdish insurgency “should continue with patience.”

“The struggle against terror continues. The peace process is continuing in order to end these sorts of incidents. Turkey is ready for everything,” Yılmaz told reporters late Oct. 14.