“By the answer he’s given, Josep Borrell has admitted and confessed that the European Union fully supports Turkey’s occupation of Iraq’s territories and its use of chemical weapons. So we more clearly understand why Turkey and Tayyip Erdoğan is so comfortable and self-confident,” writes Ferda Çetin for Yeni Özgür Politika.
The Turkish state is recklessly using toxic, irritant gases and chemical bombs against the Kurds. Such weapons have been used numerous times in Metîna, Zap and Avasîn and many guerrillas were killed.
548 villagers around Kanimasî have been poisened by gas and taken for treatment to an isolated hospital under the KDP’s [Kurdistan Democratic Party’s] control. The KDP covered up this mass poisoning under the claim of a Covid-19 outbreak, and handed all the patients over to a medical team that arrived from Turkey. Earlier, 75-year-old Abdullah Hesen and his family in Duhok’s village of Hirorê had been poisoned due to a chemical attack conducted by Turkish jet fighters.
Use of such weapons constitutes an outright war crime, according to the Chemical Weapons Convention which bans production, sales, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons containing toxic and irritant gases; a Convention signed by 193 countries and in effect since 1997.
There is also a special and ‘autononous’ organisation which had been founded with the mission of monitoring and controlling production of chemical weapons, investigating complaints and intervening when necessary. This is the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with its headquarters in Lahey.
However, the Turkish state continues recklessly using chemical weapons against the Kurdish people and Kurdish guerrillas although there is a Convention and an organisation involved in this issue.
The Kurds have taken to the streets in Europe, Rojava, Makhmur and Shengal, protesting and making appeals to international institutions.
Forty four Arab intellectuals have sent a letter to OPCW, drawing attention to Turkey’s attacks and calling for steps to be taken against chemical weapons use.
Sixty five women, political figures and artists among them, made a call via the leadership of the Kurdish Women’s Relation Office (REPAK) to OPCW to take action, in accordance with its responsibilities.
An MP for Die Linke in Germany, Gökay Bulut, addressed a parliamentary question in the Bundestag over the attacks and chemical weapons use by Turkey.
Italian MP Erasmo Palazzotto brought the issue of Turkey’s chemical weapons use against the Kurds to the attention of the Italian parliament through a parliamentary question.
Earlier, a Swedish representative at the European Parliament, Malin Björk, filed a parliamentray question with the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 1 June 2021.
The question was titled ‘Turkey’s invasion and chemical attacks in northern Iraq.’ Malin Björk asked whether the European Union was informed about Turkey’s attacks and chemical weapons use and how it was planning to respond to Turkey.
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, answered Malin Björk’s question on 11 October 2021.
In his response, Josep Borrell indicates that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] is designated by the EU as a terrorist organisation and one which is involved in acts of terror. He stated that Turkey is militarily active in Iraq to fight terror and no reports of confirmed chemical attacks had been presented.
Not only this. Borrell also added that the EU encourages countries in the region to cooperate in fighting terror, and that the EU supports the 9 October 2020 Sinjar (Shengal) Agreement between the administrations of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), foreseeing the removal of the PKK and ‘other destabilising groups’ from the area.
In other words, Borrell does not reply to the questions, and shifts the subject through demagogy and manipulation. He considers Turkey’s occupation of Iraqi soil not as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, but as a legitimate right. He says nothing about ‘when’ and ‘how’ the Turkish army will leave the area.
The ‘Sinjar Agreement,’ which Borrell ‘supports,’ is a deal for the return of KDP forces and the Iraqi army to Shengal, forces which fled and left the Yazidi Kurds alone in the face of a great massacre when the Islamic State attacked and started a massacre in 2014. It is an agreement foreseeing the liquidation of the Yazidi protection forces.
The issue of ‘foreign forces destabilising the region,’ on the other hand, cannot be covered in a single article. Volumes ought to be written on ‘who is actually foreign in the region, and who are the sources of destabilisation.’
By the answer he’s given, Josep Borrell has admitted and confessed that the European Union fully supports Turkey’s occupation of Iraq’s territories and its use of chemical weapons. So we more clearly understand why Turkey and Tayyip Erdoğan is so comfortable and self-confident.
And the truth becomes evident once again: It is apparent that the EU entirely supports all the attacks, illegal and arbitrary measures carried out by the Turkish state and the Erdoğan administration against the Kurds.
As this is the case, it is unethical for the EU to pretend that it is expecting Turkey to act in accordance with democracy and European criteria. Saying, ‘You can attack the Kurdish people and the guerrillas any way you wish, use chemical weapons, but you have to release Osman Kavala’ is not only double standards, but it’s also dishonourable and low.
The United Nations, the European Parliament, the European Council and European states are not just aware of the Turkish occupation and the war crimes being committed, but they are actually allowing the Turkish state and the AKP [Justice and Development Party] administration to carry out a plan in which they play a part.
For this reason, it will be the more effective way to expose all these inhumane acts to the global public and to try to have a movement around it, rather than waiting for the institutions, actually accomplices in crime, to take action spontaneously all by themselves.