ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s opposition party Gorran Movement said Saturday that it was supportive of Kurds’ demands for political and cultural rights in neighboring states in response to the Turkish Foreigner Minister who accused them of backing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Gorran has never hidden the [fact] that it backs the Kurds outside the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in attaining their national and cultural rights,” the group said in a statement, referring to views of its late leader Nawshirwan Mustafa.
Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu in recent weeks charged Gorran and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of collaborating with the PKK which Ankara and its Western allies label as “terrorists” for their conflict with the Turkish state over Kurdish right to self-rule.
On Friday, Cavusoglu claimed the federal Iraqi administration in Baghdad and the Erbil government, led by the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), was “backing” his country’s offensive on PKK strongholds in Region’s mountains.
There has been no confirmation from either Erbil or Baghdad regarding any support to Turkey’s air bombardments and ground invasion.
The Turkish Minister, however, singled out the Sulaimani-based Gorran and PUK as PKK backers.
“Such remarks (by Turkey) is means of running away from a peaceful solution to the troubles and deepens the region’s disputes,” Gorran added.
It also criticized Turkey’s policy of not allowing civilian airplanes flying to Sulaimani to use its airspace.
Turkey, along with other neighboring states, opposed the referendum in the Kurdistan Region last September, in which 93 percent of the people voted for independence.
Ankara made military threats and joined in diplomatically isolating the Region. However, crucially, Turkey kept the border crossing with the Kurdistan Region open, mitigating the hardship that followed the popular vote.
The country earlier this year lifted the embargo except for air traffic to Sulaimani.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany