Czech Foreign Ministry fails to convince Ankara on anti-terrorism stance amid arrest of Czech YPG terrorists
by Merve Aydoğan
ANKARANov 21, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Merve Aydoğan
Nov 21, 2016 12:00 am
After the arrest of two Czech nationals in southeastern Şırnak province operating as members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist group as they were illegally crossing the border from Syria last week by Turkish security forces, the Czech Foreign Ministry failed to provide answers on their government's efforts to overcoming terrorism and the issue of foreign fighters. Speaking to Daily Sabah, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova verified the arrest of the two Czech nationals and said her government was following the matter, but failed to answer on measures to combat terrorism and prevent the activities of foreign fighters. She said, "We don't have that [number of Czech foreign fighters], we do not know any case or any person who would be currently fighting in ISIL [Daesh] or any other organization, this is more a question for our counter terrorism agencies I guess."
When Daily Sabah inquired about the measures and punishments against foreign fighters holding Czech citizenship and the official stats on Czech foreign fighters, the Czech Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman simply told us to ask the Czech government's Justice Ministry and the Interior Ministry. "This is not a question for us but for the ministry of justice, because first of all they know what kind of punishment, charges and how long the sentence for the people who commit something against Turkish law can be. The same thing goes for potential extradition, and so it's not a question for us. The anti-terrorist measures here in the Czech Republic are more a question for the ministry of interior also, it is not for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; we do not check the Czech legislation that much…," she said and then added that one must contact those "two institutions" in order to get information.
The incident was a first of its kind due to Turkish security forces conducting such operations against the YPG terror group's foreign fighters for the first time.
The detained Czech YPG terrorists, Miroslav Farkas and Marketa Vselichova, have adopted the noms de guerre "Serxwebun Botan" and "Zelane Botan." According to the information obtained from the security forces, Farkas is reported to be a sniper and Vselichova was responsible for logistics and health services as well as coordinating the arrival of new volunteer terrorists from Europe to Syria.
The detainees said that they had been trained by German Special Forces, and in the French Legion. Since the YPG is the military branch of the PKK's Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and not only Turkey but also the U.S. and the EU member states recognize the PKK as a terrorist group, the Czech Foreign Ministry's failing to provide information on foreign fighters and its policies in counter-terrorism came as a shock and serious disappointment.
Turkey is criticizing Western allies for their lack of support and involvement in counter terrorism, especially with their lack of information on the matter. Comprehensive and detailed information on Turkey's involvement in counter terrorism as well as contributions to the anti-Daesh coalition can be found even on the Foreign Ministry's official webpage. In fact, just last year alone, the Foreign Ministry revealed that Turkey slapped a ban on more than a 20,000 suspected foreign fighters, preventing them from heading to Syria and Iraq.
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