Remarks by the Chinese representative at the United Nations Security Council’s Syria session on Wednesday criticising Turkey turned into a diplomatic quarrel as the Turkish representative responded accusing China of violations of international humanitarian law.
Geng Shuang, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), targeted Turkey in his speech with serious accusations including accusing Turkey of an ‘illegal invasion of Syria’.
Indicating that the humanitarian situation described by the Under‑Secretary‑General for Humanitarian Affairs is worrying, Geng Shuang said, “Turkey illegally invaded Syria’s north‑east and cut off water supplies,” and called upon Turkey to abide by international law and guarantee humanitarian access for the United Nations.
Turkey was recently also condemned in an international forum for creating artificial water shortages in northern Syria by holding back the waters of the two main rivers of the Middle East, the Euphrates and the Tigris, with 22 separate dams.
Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, responded using equally strong words in response to the Chinese representative’s remarks.
“We do not need any lectures from those who violate international humanitarian law,” he said, and on the accusation of ‘cutting off water supplies’ regarding the Alouk water station (a critical source of water source in north and east Syria), he stated that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the ‘Syrian regime’ were ‘abusing the issue for their bad‑minded agendas’.
Sinirlioğlu then shifted the subject away from Geng Shuang’s accusations and continued to voice the official claims of the Turkish administration regarding YPG and its alleged ties with PKK.
He stated that “the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation also prevented Syrian Yazidis and Syrian Kurds from returning to their homes,” reported the Turkish government media Daily Sabah.
Claiming that the attacks of ‘PKK/YPG’ are not limited to Syria, Sinirlioğlu went on to allege that the organisation is using its presence in Syria to target Turkey.
The Daily Sabah article was posted together with a photo from a demonstration of Uyghurs, an oppressed people under state repression in China.
Ironically, political representation of the Uyghurs have also been recently banned in Turkey.