Mar 23 2019

Ankara blasts Czech president for calling Turkey a de facto ISIS ally

Turkey on Saturday slammed what it called defamatory and false statements of the Czech President Milos Zeman, who said on March 19 that the Turkish government was a de facto ally of the Islamic State (ISIS). 

Zeman blamed Turkey for supporting ISIS by helping the jihadi group's logistics operations during a speech in Karlovy Vary region of Czechia.

"Why [do the Turks] attack the Kurds? Because they are de facto allies of the ISIS", the Czech President said citing Turkey’s military operations against Kurdish militia in Syria.

Turkey sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), while the YPG forms the backbone of U.S.-led coalition forces fighting against ISIS. 

Zeman also said that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s domestic and foreign policies transformed Turkey into an Islamic country. 

"This is no longer the secular state of [Mustafa Kemal] Ataturk, but a state that professes Islamic ideology, and as follows logically, that the Turkish state stands close to the Islamic radicals and attacks the Kurds,” Sol news site quoted Zeman as saying. 

“We observe with great regret that Czech President Milos Zeman continues his defamatory and false statements targeting our country,” the Turkish foreign ministry said on Saturday in a written statement. 

The ministry said statements that were based “solely on lack of knowledge and a shallow point of view” did not serve any purpose. It also said that the Zeman’s such statements reflected a “purely malevolent approach”.

The ministry said Turkey was at the forefront of the fights against ISIS, adding that it was a shame that those who could be at the forefront of this fight, pontificated and slandered from afar targeting Turkey.