🔶Speaking in parliament on Friday, Sinan Çiftyürek (@canbegyekbun) of the HEDEP said the Turkish parliament's extension of a mandate for cross-border military operations was aimed at Kurdish gains in northern Syria and Iraq.https://t.co/838AoYFoHj pic.twitter.com/pIJLZK5a8M
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) October 20, 2023
The Turkish parliament on Tuesday extended the cross-border operation mandate for the military for the eighth time, in preparation to possible ground excursions into northern Syria and Iraq on top of its airstrikes against what Ankara considers Kurdish terrorist groups.
The mandates have not aimed to defend Turkey’s borders but to target gains made by Kurdish communities in these countries, Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) Van MP Sinan Çiftyürek said in a speech in parliament on Friday.
“The military operations and mandates of the last 40 years have not aimed to defend borders, or to fight terrorism, or to uphold the territorial integrity for Iraq and Syria,” Çiftyürek said. “What actually threatens Iraq’s and Syria’s territorial integrity are the states that have a military presence there, starting with Turkey and Iran.”
Iran and Turkey do not want Kurds in Iraq and Syria to have official status, the MP said. “Because Kurds, in these two parts, have brought forth new references.”
“Iran and Turkey have become prisons for peoples and faiths. On the contrary, what do the stateless Kurds say?” he continued. “(That) they will build a garden of peoples and faiths.”
In the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the Kurdish government recognises five official languages and offers equal rights to all faiths and sects in its territory, Çiftyürek said.
Turkey has, “since its inception”, based its domestic and foreign policy on preventing the Kurds from achieving an official status, he continued.
“For the last 30 years, (Turkish cities) have told Ankara that they want free use of their own resources as per the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Ankara says ‘Alright, your demand is legitimate. But what if Diyarbakır, Van also ask for it?’,” he said.
“Turkey has left Kurds breathless for a century, but that also cut off its own breath. The Freedom of Istanbul and Izmir depends on Van and Diyarbakır,” he concluded.
Turkey’s airstrikes have damaged some 80 percent of the civilian infrastructure in northern Syria since 5 October, after Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan declared all “sources of income” for what Ankara considers to be terrorist groups as “legitimate targets”.