Why the Turkish airstrikes and bombing of Nord East Syria, while an investigation of Istanbul attack is being prevented by the AKP-MHP coalition

A summary by HDP Europe, 25.11.2022

The Erdoğan government’s attacks against the Kurds in northern and eastern Syria and northern Iraq, which violate the international and humanitarian law on many grounds, have continued uninterrupted since the late hours of 19 November.

Turkish government has justified these attacks by using the heinous bombing in Taksim district of Istanbul on 13 November as the pretext. The Kurdish organizations that Turkish government instantly blamed (the PKK and YPG) did deny any involvement in the attack and expressed condolences for the victims. There are many question marks regarding the Taksim attack, and there is no reason to believe in the official statements of Turkish minister of interior, which include several inconsistencies and contradictions. On 23 November, the HDP tabled a parliamentary motion to establish a parliamentary commission to investigate the Taksim bombing. Pro-government parties AKP and MHP, who have the majority at the parliament, rejected this motion. Clearly, this is to prevent the public from learning the truth behind the attack. There is also news that three brothers of the woman who planted the bomb died fighting as ISIS members. Moreover, her elder brother is a commander of the Free Syrian Army, which is sponsored and supported by Turkey. The international community needs to focus on the darkness around the Taksim bombing, because if we can learn the truth behind this attack, we may be able to stop the efforts to poison the political climate before the elections.

The government does not want anyone to know what really happened in Taksim and who really perpetrated the attack so that he can continue his anti- Kurdish war plan undisturbed. Turkish airstrikes and bombardments continue uninterrupted and, according to Erdoğan’s most recent speech, a ground offensive is also planned. Media reports from the region indicate that so far it is mainly service and infrastructure facilities in the region that are being attacked. Important civilian facilities such as schools, hospitals and oil regions have also been attacked. According to the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria (AANES), many civilians have died in the attacks so far.

Responsible international organizations such as the UN, the EU and NATO must play their role and urgently demand from Turkey to stop these attacks. Statements by the government or some international institutions claiming that Turkey is carrying out these attacks as self-defense are hasty conclusions, at the least, and most probably not true, unless the truth behind the Taksim attack is fully revealed. Statements of the Turkish minister of interior have so far covered up rather than clarifying the situation.

The Kurds and their autonomous administration in Syria are not a security threat, neither to Turkey nor to the region. But Turkey and its proxy forces, mostly Islamist militants and mercenaries, are clearly a security threat for the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds’ fight against ISIS, which has helped stabilize certain parts of Syria and Iraq, also provided security against ISIS worldwide. The war against ISIS goes on, and these attacks by Turkey are simply making that war even more difficult, providing fresh air to ISIS members.

It is clear to us that Erdoğan and his ultranationalist allies are committed to completing the mission that the ISIS failed to achieve against the Kurds in 2014. That is why it is high time for the international community to raise solidarity with the Kurds, who have been fighting an arduous struggle in the name of all humanity in the Middle East.

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