EP groups condemn Turkish attacks on Afrin, call for action

European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Carmen Cuesta Roca

BRUSSELS (ANF) – Four political groups held a joint press conference in the European Parliament about the Turkish state’s invasion operation against Afrin Canton of Northern Syria on Wednesday.

Representatives of many parties including the United Left, Greens and Conservatives attended the press conference, after which HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Europe representative Eyüp Doru and David Vergili of the European Syriac Society held a briefing about the situation in Afrin.

“AFRIN SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN THE SESSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY”

GUE/NGL (Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left) President Gabi Zimmer stated that the Turkish state wants to destroy the areas held by the SDF, recalling that various peoples, faith and ethnic groups live in peace in Afrin.

Zimmer criticised High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini for raising a weak voice on the matter, saying; “Failure to speak out on the people’s security of life deserves criticism. The council and commission are not taking on responsibility. They are providing arms. For instance, we ask the German government if they will stop the arms sale (to Turkey) and they respond ‘We are not sure if the weapons we gave them are being used’. This is unacceptable. All groups in the EP should raise one voice and adopt a stand. Strasbourg will soon house a session about the violation of human rights in Turkey. In my point of view, the operation against Afrin could be included in it. The EP should have a joint resolution motion and we should approve it.”

“INTERNATIONAL LAW TRAMPLED ON”

Greens member Rebacca Harms said she was shocked by what is happening in Afrin, remarking that Turkey’s Afrin operation revives a war instead of creating a solution in Syria. She said; “There is a terrific attack on a city that is the symbol of multi-culturalism, peace and positive living. Turkey is spreading its polarization to neighboring countries. Turkey’s attack goes against international law and Turkey must be sentenced because of these attacks.”

Pointing out that international community and NATO should take a stand against Turkey’s attacks, Harms also pointed out fascistic practices in Turkey and noted that all those who oppose these practices are detained and then jailed.

“TURKEY CARRIED TERROR INTO AFRIN”

EP Conservatives and Reformists Group member Branislav Škripek called attention to the situation of Christians in Afrin. He recalled that Turkey launches attacks by arguing that “we will end terror”, saying that Turkey carried terror into Afrin.

Stressing that EP should stand against the attacks on civilians, Branislav Škripek said it is important to include Northern Syria in all the talks to be held on Syria.

“THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN TURKEY FOR DOZENS OF YEARS”

Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats member Costas Mavrides pointed out Turkey’s dubbing the Afrin operation “Olive Branch”, recalling that Turkey had attacked Cyprus under the name of “peace operation” back in 1974.

Mentioning the developments experienced in Turkey over the past ten years, Costas Mavrides said the current situation shows why there has been no change in Turkey in such a long time.

Mavdires said the gang groups that are attacking Afrin with the Turkish army at the moment are those that have been sent into Syria for months ahead of the operation.

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