Claim: Erdogan lashes out at Kurds

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Claim: Erdogan lashes out at Kurds

2016-03-11 09:22 GMT
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CNN International’s Greg Botelho claims Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashes out at Kurds

Thousands of Kurdish refugees come to Turkey escaping from DAESH

On 10 February 2016, CNN International’s Greg Botelho published an article about Turkey’s policies on Syria and claimed that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “lashed out at Kurds.” Botelho relaid Erdogan’s address made at a local administrators meeting in which he criticized the US for supporting the PYD (Democratic Union Party),  the Syrian affiliate of the southeastern Turkey-based PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) terrorist group which seeks to impose its Marxist-Leninist ideology on Kurdish regions. Botelho wrote:

“Such anger against Washington is noteworthy, though a Turkish leader lashing out at Kurds is nothing new. The ethnic group has been a thorn in Ankara's side for decades, having been blamed for violence as part of its separatist push. Ankara has fought back and is still fighting back, with the Kurds viewed as a very real threat.”1

However, contrary to Botelho’s claims, Erdogan did not target Kurdish people in his criticisms, but only denounced the US approach to the PYD, adding that the PYD as one of the actors that have turned Syria into a bloodbath.2

Although the link between the PYD and the PKK has remained a speculation for a long time, recently the PYD leader Salih Muslim said in an interview with Turkey’s daily Hurriyet that the PYD “embraces” the ideals of the jailed PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan.3

On 13 October 2015, Amnesty International released a report revealing “a wave of forced displacement and home demolitions amounting to war crimes carried out by the PYD.”

According to Amnesty International’s report, the YPG (People’s Protection Units), the military wing of the PYD, undertook demolitions and displaced villagers in areas which were previously under the control of DAESH before they were taken by the YPG in 2015.

The report also demonstrates that some civilians said they were threatened with US-led coalition airstrikes if they failed to leave.4

In addition to that, Turkey hosts thousands of Syrian Kurdish refugees. The number of Kurdish refugees from Syria exceeded 300,000 according to news report published by the Independent on 3 September 2015.5