Turkey slams France for PKK propaganda in school textbooks

Turkey criticised France on Sunday over a textbook to be used in French high schools, saying that it includes propaganda from Kurdish armed groups.

The book, which will be used as supplementary educational material, gives two full pages to information on Kurds with a section entitled "The Nation Without a Country: Kurds".

Turkey says the text resembles propaganda from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has been fighting an armed insurgency for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey since 1984, and its Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Western powers say have played a vital role in the international coalition against the Islamic State in Syria.

"The textbook, said to be prepared by a publishing house to be taught in high schools in France, includes information regarding the Kurds in line with the separatist ideology of the YPG/PKK terrorist organisation," Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

"It is obvious that this terrorist propaganda, which is a result of the official policy of France, was initiated with the courage taken from those who host the so-called representatives of the terrorist organisation at the Presidential Palace," he said.

The PKK is labelled as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted representatives from the YPG last year, underlining France’s support for the group’s ongoing fight against jihadists in Syria.

Political tensions between Turkey and France have escalated recently with Ankara's intervention in the conflict in Libya, where the two countries back opposing sides.