Dec 11 2017

Turkish political party demands prosecution of U.S. presidential envoy

Turkey’s left-nationalist Vatan Party has demanded the prosecution of seven U.S. officials in light of revelations from a defecting spokesman for the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), party-linked newspaper Aydınlık said.

Party deputy head Mehmet Cengiz said the party had asked for the prosecution of Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State Brett McGurk, Operation Inherent Resolve commander Stephen Townsend, CENTCOM commander Joseph Votel and four others he did not name on charges of putting Turkey’s territorial integrity in jeopardy.

Talal Silo, an ethnic Turkmen military commander who acted as the SDF spokesman, defected to Turkey last month, and has since given interviews to state news agency Anadolu saying the United States was using the SDF as a front to arm the Kurdish-separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK has been in conflict with Turkey intermittently since 1984.