Russia Supports Anti-Terrorist Forces
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas in Moscow.
Ahead of his arrival, the Kurdish leader said he’d be discussing “recent tension between Turkey and Russia. Many people, many businesspeople and students, are affected by this tension.”
Erdogan “closed all doors (to improving relations). We are effective, and we want to use our power.” HDP plans “open(ing) a party office in Moscow,” Demirtas said.
His party was founded in 2012, combining several left-wing groups - including supporters of equal rights for women and gays, secularists, anti-capitalists and environmentalists, putting it at odds with Erdogan’s agenda.
He accused HDP of fronting for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), fighting for Kurdish self-determination since the mid-1980s, wrongfully designated a terrorist group by Turkish, US, and other NATO authorities.
Demirtas forthrightly opposes Erdogan’s lawlessness, calling him and his minions “murderers. Your hand is bloody. Blood has splattered from your face, your mouth to your nails and all over you. You are the biggest supporters of terror.”
In Moscow before meeting with Demirtas, Lavrov said Russia will actively cooperate with all forces involved in combating the scourge of terrorism.
He looked forward to discussing regional issues with the Kurdish leader, he said. “As part of the efforts of the international community to resolve the Syrian crisis, it is crucially important to bring together the opportunities of all those who aim at resolutely fighting against terrorism,” he stressed.
“We know that Iraqi and Syrian Kurds are confronting the threat of ISIS and other extremist groups ‘on the ground’ with weapons in their hands. They, together with the army of Iraq (and) army of Syria are fighting for their homes, for the right to live on their land.”
“This is their inalienable right, just as the rights of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities to remain on the lands of their ancestors and not to be subjected to deadly threats from terrorists.”
“Russia, being involved in the anti-terrorist coalition in Syria at the request of the Syrian government, is ready to actively support the forces on the ground who are countering this threat,” Lavrov explained.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu criticized Demirtas’ Moscow visit, saying:
“Turkey is a free country (sic). Everyone can go wherever they want and meet whoever they like. There are no problems with that. But why didn't they go two months ago, a year ago?”
“Instead of moving together with the Turkish people, they prefer to establish cooperation with someone we have problems with.”
Sputnik News cited Moscow-based analyst Sergei Demidenko, saying Russia wants to maintain relations with Turkish people regardless of who’s in power.
Demidenko stressed its objective “to cooperate with political forces in Turkey, which we believe are more progressively-minded and willing to negotiate.”
Moscow-based analyst Boris Dolgov called contacts between Russia’s Foreign Ministry and Erdogan’s political opponents politically sound.
He expects no Ankara/Moscow warming as long as Erdogan remains in power - a hugely negative force, a major detriment to regional peace and security, besides enormous harm done to the Turkish people.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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