Turkey Angered by Photo Exhibition in EU Parliament About Syrian Kurds
Turkey protested on Wednesday the opening of a photo exhibition in the European parliament that features life and the war in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), saying the photos show Kurdish terrorists and that the exhibit was a propaganda tool.
“We condemn the opening of a photo exhibition at the European Parliament featuring the leader of the PKK terrorist organization and the terrorist members of the PYD, which is PKK’s Syrian offshoot,” read a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The statement also read that “The European Parliament, thus has been used as a tool of the propaganda of a bloody terrorist organization that takes the lives of innocent people almost every day and thereby has been involved in promoting terrorism.”
The Foreign Ministry’s statement said that there is no difference between the Islamic State (ISIS) and PKK since they “are terrorist organizations” therefore “preferring a terrorist organization over another is a disrespect to the memory of all victims of terrorism.”
Around 30 photographs show PKK, People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s north or Rojava with certain regions labelled “cantons” in the captions.
The exhibition was hosted and organized by Josef Weidenholzer vice-president of the EP’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group. And the photographs on display were taken by an Austrian political scientist and cultural anthropologist Thomas Schimidinger.
According to Washington Kurdish Institute the photos on display were taken by Schimidinger on his different visits to Rojava.
Many people reportedly attended the opening of the exhibition in EP.
At the opening of the exhibition Weidenholzer said in a speech that Kurdish forces in Rojava, particularly in Kobane “won a victory for humanity after a 5 month-long resistance,” and the World must support them.
He added: “his photos depict the revolution and life in Rojava after 2011.”
On the same issue, Turkish President’s spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, said such propaganda against Turkey is “unacceptable.”
“Making propaganda of terror organizations that target Turkish nationals every day under the roof of the European Parliament is unacceptable,” Kalın said.
“We have difficulty understanding the aims of the EP, per se, by promoting a branch of the PKK which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the EU,” he claimed.
Turkish officials have repeatedly criticized the European parliament’s support of Kurdish forces in Syria and Turkey especially after the hanging of YPG flags on the parliament’s doors and windows last month.