Turkey slams Arab League chief over PKK remarks

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summons Arab League chief over his remarks about Turkish operations against PKK terrorists in Northern Iraq

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Aug 6, 2015

Turkey condemned on Tuesday Arab League Chief Elaraby over his remarks that criticised Turkish military operations against outlawed PKK bases in Northern Iraq.

PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the EU, the US, and Turkey.

"We condemn and refuse the statement made by Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby yesterday [Tuesday] regarding the operations launched by Turkey against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) nestled in northern Iraq," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Such an attitude against Turkey's determined struggle against terror -- based on international law -- is impossible to understand given that the Iraqi government has openly declared that it is not able to prevent the terrorist attacks of PKK on Turkey and its citizens from its territory," the statement added.

The ministry also said that Elaraby’s latest comments reflect his personal opinions and were not consulted among the Arab League members.

Meanwhile, the member states to the Arab League, including Qatar, said that his statement was not discussed with the member states before it was released.

Ankara also criticised Elaraby for not raising his voice when PKK “declared an autonomous canton in some parts of Iraq,” and called on him to support not terror, but the fight against it.

Arab League's Mohamed al Fatah Naciri was summoned to the ministry and told that Elaraby's statement was unacceptable.

Turkey has been a target of increasing terror attacks by militant groups such as ISIS and PKK since a suicide bombing, allegedly carried out by ISIS, in the Suruc district of the southeastern Sanliurfa province claimed 32 lives on July 20.

With the latest incident, the number of the Turkish security officials killed in PKK  terror attacks since the Suruc suicide bombing rose over 20.

Alarmed by the increasing number of attacks, on July 24, thousands of Turkish security forces and gendarmerie have launched nationwide anti-terrorism operations in many cities across Turkey.

Hundreds of suspected militants have been arrested and about 1,500 have been detained by Turkish security forces during Turkey’s nationwide anti-terror operations carried out in 39 different provinces since July 24.

Most of the suspects allegedly belonged to ISIS, PKK and the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

In response to the PKK and ISIS attacks, Turkish military has also stepped up efforts against the militant groups and launched air strikes in several positions used by PKK and ISIS militants in Northern Iraq and Syria respectively for about 10 days.

More than 260 militants have been killed and more than 360 injured in air strikes conducted by Turkish military while 10 militants have been killed and two are injured in ground operations.

TRTWorld and agencies