ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Luqman Ahmi, spokesperson for the Kurdish-led self-administration for the northeast of Syria, in an exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24 urged Europe and the US to put sanctions on Turkey for attacking the Kurds in Syria.
“We appeal to Europe, the US, and their people, to do everything they can to stop the Turkish invasion of northeast Syria – either through direct methods, special efforts, or through the United Nations and its Security Council,” he said.
“Our people, our nation and their forces, those who defeated ISIS and its threats against Europe and rest of the world, today Turkey wants to annihilate those forces – Turkey wants to give new life to ISIS, in order to once again endanger people around the world.”
On Thursday, European members of the UN called “upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action as we do not believe it will address Turkey's underlying security concerns.” Turkey launched its unilateral operation on Wednesday.
In Western countries, support for sanctions against Turkey seems to be growing. In the United States, US lawmakers expect to get a veto-proof majority backing sanctions against Turkey.
In Europe, some countries already halted arm exports to Turkey, such as Finland and Norway. In Sweden, there is a majority in parliament in favor of sanctions, but the Swedish government noted it would wait to make a decision on Friday.
In the Netherlands, there is also a parliamentary majority in favour of sanctions. The Dutch government, however has shown reluctance toward imposing sanctions on Turkey. Sadet Karabulut, an MP for the Socialist Party (SP), told Kurdistan 24 that there should be clear ‘consequences’ if Turkey doesn’t stop its current attack.
Dutch government officials, nevertheless, say they want to keep all ‘options open.’
The Algemeen Dagblad reported on Thursday that the Dutch government would push for an urgent meeting within NATO to discuss Turkey’s behavior.
In response to this, the Kurdish spokesperson argued there is a need for a “serious decision, to stop the Turkish invasion [of northeast Syria], and issue sanctions against Turkey.”
Ahmi asserted to the people of Europe: “If Europe was not able to alone defeat ISIS, today they have a duty to protect the same people who significantly helped defeating ISIS.”
He also added how it is "critically important how the world, especially Europe, would respond to the actions of Trump and Erdogan.”
“The states that have exported arms to the Turkish military, those weapons are killing the people of northeast Syria – those states should clearly announce their positions about the Turkish invasion.”
“Europe today must implement sanctions against the Turkish state – I would like to emphasize on this point: if the European people along with their states do not commit to their responsibilities, it won’t be long until the current free and democratic life in Europe will be endangered by Turkey and ISIS,” he warned.
He concluded there should be international sanctions against Turkey and a joint decision by the European Union, and the UN’s Security Council under Article 7, to condemn and stop Turkey’s invasion of northeast Syria.
“Condemnations alone are not helpful; condemnations do not save people’s lives who are being displaced due to the Turkish occupation. Our peaceful people who were living in their homeland, today are being forced out of their homes because of the Turkish state.”
Editing by Nadia Riva