The Turkish military high command rubbished claims that its armed forces recently collaborated with outlawed separatist Kurdish organizations.
In a statement released on its official website, the Turkish General Staff dismissed allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces, or the TSK, collaborated with “terrorist organizations such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, and the Democratic Union Party, or the PYD.”
“We strongly condemn media outlets and persons making such baseless allegations against the honorable, dignified and proud National Army of Turkey in front of our Turkish nation,” the statement said.
The statement was released in the aftermath of PKK jailed leader’s Newroz message on March 21 that said: “The PKK must convene a congress to end the 40-year armed conflict with Turkey.”
Also, Abdullah Ocalan in his message greeted the resistance displayed at the Syrian town of Kobani along with the “Ashme Spirit,” which he termed as a new symbol of a new history.
Ashme refers to the place where the remains of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, were moved from Turkey’s original exclave in Syria on Feb. 21. It is located on Syrian soil, some 37 kilometers away from the Turkish border.
After PKK leader’s remarks, some media organizations alleged that the Turkish Armed Forces cooperated with terrorist organizations PKK and PYD during the recent relocation of Shah’s body.
The TSK statement also said that it was out of question for the armed forces to cooperate with terrorist organizations. Upon instructions and orders by the Turkish government, the Turkish Armed Forces would continue to fight against all forms of terrorism which target the Turkish state and nation, the statement added.
The Turkish government launched an initiative in early 2013, known as the “solution process,” to end the decades-old conflict with the outlawed PKK, which has to date claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
Turkey, the US and the EU list PKK as a terrorist organization.
Newroz is the March 21 festival that marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated mainly in Iran, Afghanistan, India, Turkic republics such as Azerbaijan, Caucasus countries, Albania and Macedonia. Turkey’s Kurdish population in particular see it as an important traditional and cultural event.