Danish parliament condemns Turkish aggression in northeast Syria

The Danish parliament on Thursday condemned ongoing Turkish action in and threats against northeastern Syria for the first time.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Danish parliament on Thursday condemned ongoing Turkish action in and threats against northeastern Syria for the first time.

The Kurdish Firat News Agency (ANF) reported that the motion was presented by party representatives Jens Joel (S), Michael Aastrup Jensen (V), Jens Rohde (RV), Anne Valentina Berthelsen (SF), Katarina Ammitzbøll (KF), and Red-Green Unity Party (Ø) member Søren Søndergaard.

Lawmakers also announced that the Danish government should support EU sanctions against Turkey if requested by France.

“For the first time ever, the parliament condemns Erdogan’s military aggressions in the Kurdish-dominated areas of Syria and calls for a tougher EU policy towards Turkey. At the same time, solidarity with France is expressed in the face of Islamist terrorist attacks,” Søren Bo Søndergaard, a member of the Danish parliament for the Red-Green Alliance, said in a tweet on Thursday.

For første gang nogensinde fordømmer folketinget Erdogans militære aggressioner i de kurdiskdominerede områder i Syrien og kræver en skærpet EU-kurs over for Tyrkiet. Samtidig udtrykkes solidaritet med Frankrig overfor islamistiske terrorangreb. Godt! #dkpol pic.twitter.com/5QNgEQLJag

— Søren Søndergaard (@SrenSndergaard3) November 12, 2020

Nikolaj Villumsen, a Danish member of the European Parliament representing The Red-Green Alliance, confirmed to Kurdistan 24 that this is the first time that “the Danish Parliament condemned the Turkish aggression against Northeastern Syria. Previously, the majority were recognizing ‘Turkeys legitimate security concerns.’ That has now ended.”

“The terror attacks in France and Erdogan’s call for boycott of products from France have change the stands of several parties. We in the Red-Green Alliance have pushed for this for years, but not succeeded before,” he added.

Read More: France hails Kurdish friendship on fifth anniversary of Paris terrorist attacks

Villumsen said that this is a huge step for Danish Foreign policy. “Until this decision the majority have refused to criticize the Turkish aggression against the Northeastern Syria, but that has changed. A large majority from left to right are now calling for a tougher stand from the EU against Erdogan and are ready to support sanctions. This is a historic step of solidarity with the troubled people of Rojava.”

Erdogan has picked a series of quarrels in recent years, including with the US and France. Notably, Turkey has launched three military operations in Syria and sent Syrian fighters to support Islamists in Libya and the Azerbaijani government against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tensions also flared in the Eastern Mediterranean when Turkey started conducting military drills in areas that Greece considers as part of its sovereign territory.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month threatened multiple times to attack Syria’s Kurds, the main partner of the US-led Coalition in Syria against the so-called Islamic State. 

Read More: Erdogan threatens Kurds, but overshadowed by Charlie Hebdo 

Such Turkish foreign policy moves have led to calls in European countries for more and tougher sanctions and other measures towards Ankara. France, for example, banned the Turkish extremist right-wing Grey Wolves group this month that is affiliated to Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party, an ally of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party. There have also been calls by German lawmakers to ban the group.

In the Netherlands, three Dutch lawmakers from four coalition parties on Wednesday called on Foreign Minister Stef Blok to put pressure on Europe to establish a weapons embargo against Turkey after its involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Editing by John J. Catherine