Claim: Turkey closed borders when DAESH attacked Kobani

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Claim: Turkey closed borders when DAESH attacked Kobani

2016-02-24 01:35 GMT
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Pro-Kurdish HDP (People’s Democratic Party) deputy Dilek Ocalan claims that Turkey closed its borders near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani when DAESH terrorist group attacked it

Syrian Kurds escaping Kobani battle enters Turkey in September 2014

In an interview published in Italian Newspaper Il Manifesto on 16 February 2016 that was conducted by Giuseppe Acconcia with Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP (People’s Democratic Party) deputy Dilek Ocalan.1 Ocalan claimed that Turkey closed its borders to Kobani, a neighbouring Syrian Kurdish town, when the DAESH terrorist group attacked it on 13 September 2014. She also alleged that Turkey did not allow people escaping the attack to enter and tried to bomb Kurdish controlled areas. She said:
During the attack on Kobani by the Islamic State [DAESH] in 2014, Turkey closed its borders. It didn’t do anything to help Syrian refugees who were trying to escape the war. All those who were able to enter, went to the Kurdish cities. First, the Ankara government tried to bomb the Kurdish territory in order to empty it. Then, it promised aid that it never delivered and tried to use immigration in order to get concessions from the EU. And it got them.2
However, quite the contrary to Ocalan’s claims, during the Kobani battle, Turkey opened its borders and accepted tens of thousands of civilians escaping from DAESH militants.3 Hundreds of vehicles of humanitarian aid were sent to the area by Turkey.4 In addition, when it became clear that Kobani would fall if Syrian Kurds were not supported, Turkey helped the Syrian Kurds fighting against DAESH by creating a corridor for the passage of Kurdish Peshmerga forces from the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq. Peshmerga forces passed into Kobani through Turkey’s borders and joined Syrian Kurds in the fight against DAESH.5
On 19 September 2014, the Turkish border crossing to Kobani in Suruc was opened and civilians took refuge in Turkey. As Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus stated, 130,000 refugees entered in several days.6
On 3 November 2014, Suruc District Governor Abdullah Ciftci spoke about Turkey’s help to Kobani and said: “Turkey is delivering every type of humanitarian aid to Kobani. Until today, we delivered 900 trucks of aid worth 27 million (Turkish) liras. Given that, 10,000 civilians were given treatment for a year, 3,919 of them after the DAESH attack.”  
Ciftci added that 974 wounded YPG (People’s Protection Units) militants were also given treatment, referring to the armed wing of the PYD (Democratic Union Party), despite its links to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) - a Marxist-Leninist militant group listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the EU, the US and NATO, which seeks to impose its ideology on predominantly Kurdish regions.7