Ankara's Kurdistan Region policy alienates Turkey Kurds

"Kurds in Turkey and Iraq share blood. We are calling on Turkey to act by common sense."

ANKARA, Turkey (Kurdistan 24) - Five pro-Kurdish parties on Wednesday criticized Turkish policy toward the Kurdistan Region after the latter's referendum on independence from Iraq, declaring it to be a source of alienation for the millions of Kurds living in Turkey.

Convening in Ankara, representatives of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK), Freedom, Socialism Party (OSP), Kurdistan Democratic Party - North (KDP-Bakur), and Azadi Movement condemned the Iranian-backed Iraqi offensive on the Kurdish-majority city of Kirkuk and other areas.

Reading a joint statement, PAK's Kasim Ergun said it was unacceptable that Turkey was aligning with Iraq and Iran against the peaceful quest for independence of the Kurdistan Region manifested in a referendum last month.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has supported the Iraqi takeover of Kirkuk a fortnight ago and threatened economic sanctions as well as military cooperation with Baghdad.

"This policy has to change; this is not in line with being friends with the Kurds," the statement read.

With the 2019 local, parliamentary and presidential elections nearing, Erdogan is appealing to his Islamist voter base and nationalists to secure a victory.

"Harsh remarks from Ankara against Kurdistan is leading the Kurds in Turkey to an estrangement. For it should not be forgotten that the Kurds in both countries share blood. We are calling on Turkey to act by common sense," the parties said.

"We hope Turkey gives up this wrong policy toward Kurdistan in no time," their statement said.

The parties also urged the United States which maintains close ties with Erbil not to turn a blind eye to Iran's sectarian, expansionist policies in the region and its Iraqi Shia proxies' attacks on Kurdistan.

The second largest opposition bloc in the Turkish Parliament pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also attacked Ankara's hostility toward Kurdistan.

In a Tuesday meeting of HDP, the party's spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen accused Turkey of double standards when it came to Kurds in the Middle East and Turks in Cyprus and Ukraine.

“If you do not want for the Kurds in Iraq and Syria what you demand for the Turkish Cypriots or Crimean Turks [Tatars], then such double standards will not allow a democratic coexistence [in Turkey],” Bilgen said.


Editing by Sam A.

(Kurdistan 24's Ankara correspondent Ercan Dag contributed to this report.)