Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish president’s official representative, has accused the US newspaper The New York Times of attempting to justify the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“This is not journalism. This is a blatant attempt by The New York Times to justify and whitewash PKK terrorism. By the same logic, Bin Laden was a ‘hero’ to some?! Would you call Milosevic and Mladic also ‘heros’ to some people?!” Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The comment is in reference to a report published on August 16 by The New York Times, saying that “Turkey killed the leader of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party during an air strike in Iraq, but this man was a hero for the Yazidis because he helped them when their lives were threatened by militants of the Daesh* terrorist group.”
Ankara considers the PKK to be a terrorist group that conducts constant attacks inside the country. According to the Anadolu news agency, the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey had conducted a special operation in the Sinjar district of northern Iraq. As a result of the operation one of the leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party Ismael Ozden, also known as “Mam Zeki Shengali”, was killed.
Ismael Ozden was on the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs “red list” of wanted terrorists.
Ankara’s struggle with the PKK has been ongoing for almost four decades, since the early 1980s. PKK militants are currently seeking autonomy within Turkey for Kurds, who represent the country’s largest ethnic minority, and the recognition of their civil and political rights.