US-led airstrikes lead to PYD atrocities as Arabs, Turkmens flee to Turkey

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 11.06.2015 23:19
Updated 12.06.2015 09:02

Syrians who are seeking asylum in Turkey are not only escaping from Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, but also reportedly from attacks by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), considered to be an arm of Turkey's PKK in Syria. The U.S., however, does not consider it to be a terrorist organization. In this regard, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said Syrian civilians are escaping from airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition that he said is aiding the PYD to establish settlement.

Commenting on Turkey's open-door policy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said: "Turkey has always opened its doors in the case of humanitarian tragedy and imminent threat as has been the case for those escaping the Assad regime. In this framework there is no change in our open-door policy."

Though Turkey emphasizes maintaining its current Syria policy, it has been reported that the Arabs are being forcefully moved out of the country due to threats by the PYD as it has been creating a demographic alteration in the region to establish an area composed predominantly of Kurds. In this regard, the governor of Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province, İzzettin Küçük, made critical remarks on Wednesday in which he said that while the PKK has kidnapped nearly 3,000 children and brought them to the mountains in the last six months, the U.S.-led coalition and PYD are working cooperatively to remove the Arab and Turkmen population in the region.

Küçük added: "The PKK is working on establishing a state at our border currently. Ninety-eight percent of the region is made up of Arabs and Turkmens, but the PYD is changing the demographics of that region with aims to establish a Kurdish state by forcing Arab Syrians to migrate to Turkey." He further stressed that more than 7,000 Arab Syrians have crossed the Akçakale border within the last four days due to airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition and threats by PYD members.

Commenting on the allegations made by local newspapers that Turkey sends weapons and fighters to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Bilgiç said: "Above all, this dark organization poses an important security threat to Turkey. All kinds of measures have been taken to fight ISIS, including international cooperation." He added that the allegations are part of a "defamatory campaign" and were "slanderous."

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