A known critic of Turkish domestic policy, having denounced Ankara's recent purges against terror groups' members, France is now under fire itself.
The country is facing accusations of freedom of speech violations with the recent jailing of a far-leftist writer, who has been sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to condemn the Daesh attacks that occurred in Paris one year ago. France has repeatedly dismissed Turkey's concerns on the praise of terror attacks and groups on several media outlets and social media.
While France criticizes Turkey's detentions of those who refuse to condemn the activities of the PKK and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), it itself has taken a tough stance against its own people in the context of war on terror.
Jean-Marc Rouillan, a far-leftist and author of 19 books who believes the Daesh attacks had societal reasons, has been imprisoned following an interview with the Marseille-based le Ravli radio station.
"Their courage to carry out the attacks and fight against thousands of police must be stressed," Rouillan said in the interview.
Rouillan also refused to condemn the attacks and said he was neutral. Immediately after the interview was aired, he was arrested and imprisoned. Yet, the French media was not very interested in the case. Several communist organizations declared their support for the author, saying that freedom of speech was under attack in France.
Moreover, it has become increasingly difficult for Turks to support their own country's policies. While Islamophobia and anti-Turkey sentiments are on the rise across Europe, Turks are complaining that their children are being subjected to discriminatory acts and they are experiencing difficulty seeking employment in European countries.
Groups that are recognized as terrorists by both Turkey and the EU, like the PKK and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), are enjoying the safe haven offered by France.
PKK, DHKP-C and FETÖ sympathizers are easily organizing demonstrations against Turkey. On the contrary, Turkish groups are generally refused permission for anti-PKK or anti-FETÖ demonstrations.
Last week, a pro-PKK group along with French leftist groups attacked peaceful protesters as they denounced terrorism in the Placede la République, a square in the center of Paris. The demonstration, supported by Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGO's), was organized under the slogan, "Curse terrorism, invite to democracy," denouncing the PKK, [Democratic Union Party] PYD, Daesh and all forms of terrorism.
The protest was attended by several hundred people who came from across France. However, a group comprised of several dozen sympathizers of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot PYD, attacked the peaceful demonstration with iron poles, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
According to reports, at least 15 people, including women and children, were injured in the attacks. The pro-PKK gang clashed with French police, damaged public property, and broke car windows. Many Turks claimed that the French police did not intervene and just watched the events unfold.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. The PKK resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, PKK terrorist attacks have killed more than 800 Turkish security personnel and claimed the lives of over 310 people, many of whom were civilians, including women and children. Additionally, more than 10,000 PKK terrorists have been killed or apprehended in military operations.
The U.S. and EU are reluctant to recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization even though Turkish authorities have provided hard evidence which prove the undeniable links between the PKK and PYD.
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