UK Parliament hosting PYD leader an effort to legitimize terrorists
by Ali Ünal
ANKARANov 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Nov 24, 2016 12:00 am
On the same day an arrest warrant was issued for U.S. ally and Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim for masterminding a terrorist attack in the Turkish capital Ankara, he was hosted by the U.K. Parliament. Turkey considers this action to be legitimizing the efforts of the PYD and warned the U.K. about its negative effects on bilateral relations.
A court in Ankara has issued a warrant for the arrest of Salih Muslim, the leader of the PKK's U.S.-backed Syrian offshoot, the PYD. According to the warrant issued on Nov. 22, Muslim is accused of planning and perpetrating the February terrorist attack in Ankara that killed 29 civilians. On the same day, Muslim appeared in the U.K. parliament and in a speech condemned the warrant, calling it "fabricated."
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Turkish deputy and member of the Turkish–U.K. inter-parliamentary friendship group Professor Talip Küçükcan described Muslim's appearance in parliament as part of efforts to legitimize the PYD. "We consider this incident an effort to legitimize the PYD. As an ally country, we recommend that the U.K. define the PYD as a terrorist organization like the PKK," he said. Küçükcan added that they consider this incident problematic in terms of Turkish-British alliance and friendship. "Inviting the terrorist PYD's leader to the U.K. Parliament is also a factor that weakens Britain's struggle against violence and terrorist organizations," he added.
PYD leader Muslim has been hosted in the U.K. parliament several times prior to this. In March 2015, Muslim delivered a speech in the House of Commons after he had had meetings with the Foreign Office, members of parliament and the House of Lords in 2014.
This year Muslim attended the U.K. parliament upon the invitation of Deputy Natalie McGarry. The Scottish deputy has recently been charged with fraud offences after a police investigation and was forced to resign from the Scottish National Party. In February McGarry visited Diyarbakır's Sur district amid the ongoing anti-terror operation by Turkish security forces against the PKK; she was briefly detained due to her suspicious actions near a security checkpoint. McGarry was released after being questioned following concerns about her using recording equipment.
McGarry is not the only corrupt British parliamentarian who works in favor of terrorist organizations. In August 2016, British news outlets revealed that a conservative British deputy reportedly accepted thousands of pounds to write a report on Turkey, supporting the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), to be submitted to the House of Commons. According to U.K. daily The Times, the Gülenist-linked Journalists and Writers Foundation, established in 1994 and based in Istanbul, commissioned the U.K. member of parliament for Harborough, Sir Edward Garnier, and paid him about 115,994 British pounds in February 2015 to co-author the report. Titled "A Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey," it was released in September 2015.The U.K. Parliament's support for terrorist organizations is not limited to the PYD. In April 2016, the Parliament hosted a meeting on the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan. Even though the U.K. has listed the PKK as a terrorist organization for over a decade, the "Freedom for Öcalan" campaign led by British trade unions was initiated with a widely attended meeting in parliament.