Pro-Kurdish opposition warns of "massive reaction" against Syria attack

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says a military operation against Syrian Kurds will cause a massive reaction inside Turkey and will harm the government.

Ayhan Bilgen, the spokesman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was quoted by the Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency as saying that Turkish government’s plans for a military operation in northwestern Syrian province of Afrin have no grounding in security terms.

“What happens in Afrin does not threaten the Shias in Hatay, Sunnis in Urfa, or other peoples in Mardin and Antep,” Bilgen said, naming the Turkish provinces on the Syrian border.

Bilgen said what concerns Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is what Afrin represents.

“(Afrin) signifies that the Middle East can no longer be run by authoritarian one-man regimes... And you cannot destroy an alternative by mortar shells,” Bilgen was quoted as saying.

Syrian Kurds are running a de facto federal administration under the northern province held by Kurdish militia, and demand federalism for Syria.

If Turkey wins the battle of Afrin, it will create a breaking point for Turkey’s Kurds and damage Erdoğan, Bilgen was quoted by Mezoptamya as saying. If it fails, Erdoğan will be held accountable again, he added.

The only reasonable thing to do is to help build peace in Syria, the HDP’s spokesman said.