On Monday, 18 April the Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar announced that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had began another operation against the PKK by land and air, under the name of “Claw Lock” operation as a continuation of Claw 1, Claw 2 and Claw Eagle operations which were carried out in the Metina, Zap and Avaşin regions of the areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Differing information is given by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the PKK about the casualty figures in the operation and whether the operation was reaching its goal. However, the European Union (EU) and NATO member states, which are very much focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, did not make any statements about Turkey’s cross-border operation. Perhaps some sort of reaction to this military action may develop in direct proportion to the public’s level of interest in Germany and the EU in the coming days.
Politicians of Turkish origin in Europe evaluated how this operation was perceived in Germany and Europe, and asked why there was silence about a new military operation also crossing the borders of a neighbouring country by air and land, while such an immediate response was taken in regards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
AKBULUT: We request the federal government to reject this war of attack
The Left Party (DIE LINKE) Federal Parliament Member of Parliament Gökay Akbulut, in a statement on behalf of the Left Party (DIE LINKE), said that they condemned Turkey’s aggressive war in the strongest possible terms, and criticised the deafening silence of the Federal government of Germany and other NATO member states and NATO partners.
“While the Western partners most strongly condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine, impose sanctions on Russia and even arm Ukraine with heavy weapons, they tolerate Turkey’s attack,” Akbulut said. He stated that the reason for this was the tolerance of the USA, which is the leading member of NATO and controls the northern Iraqi airspace. Akbulut said, “Turkey could not have carried out this attack without the permission of the USA,” and added: “NATO countries are also acting hypocritically while doing this. With this attitude, they completely lose their credibility. Die Linke categorically rejects any war of aggression, regardless of which state it is carried out by. “We demand that the federal government does the same as well,” he said.
“This silence must be broken and Turkey’s war of aggression must be stopped,” said Akbulut, adding that, as before, they will submit a parliamentary question to the federal government on this issue.
DEMİREL: The legal democratic demands of the Kurdish should not be suppressed by the “fighting terrorist” policy
German Deputy of the European Parliament Die Linke Foreign and Peace Policy Spokesperson Özlem Alev Demirel said, “The Turkish state shamelessly declares its actions against international law with the claim of ‘self-defence’!”
Demirel pointed out that the reactions to military operations were contradictory and interesting. Demirel said that the KDP in the Kurdistan Regional Government indirectly supports Turkey’s military operation, while the Iraqi central government criticises Turkey’s attack on its territory, which violates international law. Demirel said, “The operation started after Mesrur Barzani’s visit to Ankara, where he met with Turkish President Erdogan and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. However, the Shiite leader Muqtada Sadr, whose movement emerged as the strongest force in the last elections in Iraq, said that the Turkish army’s operations were a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. Describing the unresponsiveness of the EU, NATO and its member states as “this is the most interesting attitude”, Demirel criticised it as “principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, etc. only valid in Europe, where the US and EU see that the interests of the great powers are at risk.”
Demirel said that she urged the Ankara government to end this operation immediately, as its military operations and interventions in Iraq and Syria only caused death and suffering and prevented the peaceful coexistence of different peoples in the region.
“Legitimate democratic demands of the Kurds living in Turkey and neighbouring countries should not be suppressed with a policy of ‘fighting against terrorism’,” said MEP Demirel and also added expressing the need for a sustainable political solution to the so-called Kurdish problem, instead of continuing military interventions against Kurds in neighbouring countries and political pressures in Turkey, “Kurds should also be given the right to shape their own future on equal terms and in a way to determine their own destiny.”
Demirel said, “This attack by the Turkish army aims to divert attention from the real economic and social problems of the country, and to suppress opponents who want democracy and equality. Thus, the AKP government strengthens nationalism in the country.”
ASLAN: Those who shout at Putin stay silent to Erdoğan
Berivan Aslan, the Greens Deputy in the Vienna Parliament in Austria, said that because the war in Ukraine took place in Europe, it affects and interests of Europe more. After all, while the war is still going on, the European economy is feeling its impact (fuel, food prices, etc.). Apart from that, refugees from Ukraine are Christians like themselves, look like themselves, dress like them, etc. So, European. He sees the Ukrainian refugee as his neighbour. He does not perceive it as a foreigner from the Middle East. These are just a few reasons why Europe applies double standards.
Until now, Europe was ‘managing’ Putin for natural gas and many other geopolitical reasons. Just as he handled Erdogan on the refugee issue. As a result, both the Erdogan government and the Putin government were tried many times by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for violations of rights in their countries. Of course, the EU knows how antidemocratic structures both governments have. But they manipulate the one more and the other less, in their own interests.
Yes, the EU applies double standards. While he is shouting at Putin, he is deaf to Erdogan. While we can understand the reasons for this, they cannot expect us to defend this position as democrats.
First of all, violations of rights cannot have a side to be managed. Every human rights violation that is kept silent destroys entire generations and leads to social imbalances.
Berivan Aslan explained that Erdogan’s chances of returning to power are over, the economic crisis is at its peak, and his relationship with the EU in his last years has been dragging on the ground. He will do everything in his power to stay in power, to rectify this situation.