Jan 27 2018

Turkish MP resigns as Socialist International deputy head over Afrin

A member of parliament for Turkey’s main opposition party resigned as deputy head of the Socialist International after the global association of 153 social democratic political parties warned of a humanitarian disaster as a result of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish-held Syrian enclave of Afrin, secularist newspaper Sözcü said.

“I am resigning over the statement entitled ‘the SI warns of another humanitarian disaster in Syria,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentarian Umut Oran said.

“I believe that the struggle our boys are carrying out against terror organisations that threaten Turkey is right and that there should be no damage for any reason to the struggle against these terror organisations with blood on their hands,” he said.

In particular, he said the Socialist International had not accorded sufficient importance to the indivisibility of the Syrian state and to “correctly informing international society about the terror organisation Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)/People’s Protection Units (YPG) which has been endlessly armed and trained in every way by the imperialist countries, the United States and the West”.

Socialist and workers’ groups should be aware of the PKK’s true face, Oran said, as many independent institutions and organisations had documented how the group’s armed wings in northern Syria had carried out atrocities.

He had also not been informed about the preparation of the statement at any stage, he said.

In its statement, the Socialist International called on Turkish government to stop the military operation to Afrin and allow humanitarian assistance to the northwestern Syrian region.

The Turkish military incursion into Syrian territory has brought a dangerous new dimension to the conflict in that country, with severe humanitarian repercussions for the civilian populations in the targeted areas...

The Socialist International therefore calls on the Turkish government to stop military operations that undermine the efforts of achieving regional peace and threaten civilian life. Recognising the legal obligation of states, Turkey must allow humanitarian assistance to once more reach Afrin, where 60 percent of the population were dependent on humanitarian aid even before the current military operations began.