Turkish nationalists concerned military aid to Peshmerga may end up in PKK’s hands
Members of Kurdish Peshmerga force stand guard at the Sulaiman Pek frontline, Aug. 31. REUTERS PhotoTurkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has voiced its concern that military equipment sent to Iraq’s Peshmerga forces by a coalition of Western nations may end up in the hands of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Entitled ministers of the government and their institutions need to monitor the weapons transfer closely,” MHP Deputy Chair Tuğrul Türkeş said on Sept. 2, referring to a recent statement by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy and the United Kingdom have committed to sending arms and equipment to the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, Hagel said on Aug. 26, noting that operations would “accelerate in the coming days as more nations are also expected to contribute.”
Hagel will visit Turkey on Sept. 3 as he embarks on a six-day, three-country trip centered around the NATO summit in Wales.
Türkeş also claimed that that all countries involved in the weapons transfer have supported the PKK in the past because of their "ill intentions toward Turkey."
"It is known that the terror organization [the PKK] is sending people to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Peshmerga forces against ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant]. The MHP is skeptical toward the weapons transfer due to reasons stemming from history. The MHP hasn’t forgotten the states that gave logistical and political support to the PKK in the 1990s,” he said.