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NATO backs Turkey on Islamic State, but some urge peace with Kurds

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 01:50

NATO gave Turkey its full political support in fighting militants in Syria and Iraq but also urged Ankara not to undermine the Kurdish peace process. Diane Hodges reports.

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NATO is giving Turkey its full support in fighting militants in Syria. But some members urged Ankara not to use excessive force in Kurdish areas. Turkey called an emergency meeting in Brussels to ask the group for its blessing to conduct air strikes against the Islamic State, or Daesh. But Doru Eyyup of the Kurdish People's Democratic Pary says the campaign is actually aimed at clamping down on Kurds in Turkey. (SOUNDBITE) (French) REPRESENTATIVE IN EUROPE FROM TURKEY'S PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY, DORU EYYUP, SAYING: "Turkey officially says that it is carrying out this war against Daesh and the PKK but in reality, when you see the effects of the war, the airstrikes, all of that, you see that the true war is against the Kurdish people." Turkey has been battling the PKK - the Kurdistan Workers Party - since 1984. In 2012, Turkish leaders launched negotiations to resolve the conflict. Now, Kurdish leaders accuse Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of sabotaging the negotiations and trying to jail their leaders. Erdogan has accused the Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, of having links to terrorist groups. HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas denies that. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN, SELAHATTIN DEMIRTAS, SAYING: "Our only crime is winning 13 per cent of the votes and reflecting the people's wish at the ballot box and for the parliament. Everyone living in Turkey has to know that the president of this country has stopped and prevented the disarmament of the PKK." Western leaders depend on Kurdish fighters to battle the Islamic State in neighboring Syria, leaving them caught between the needs of conflicting allies.

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NATO backs Turkey on Islamic State, but some urge peace with Kurds

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 01:50