A conference held at the European Parliament (EP) on Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds has angered the Turkish government, which called it “scandalous,” saying that the parliament has opened its doors to terrorists.
On Wednesday and Thursday the EP’s European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) European parliamentary group held the 16th International Conference on “The European Union, Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurds,” with a number of panel discussions on the state of Kurds living in Middle Eastern countries.
According to the Ahval news website, Adem Uzun, Remzi Kartal and Zübeyir Aydar, Kurdish politicians affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were invited to the event.
The PKK, designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, the US and Turkey, has been waging a bloody decades-long insurgency in Turkey’s Southeast.
“Permitting the ringleaders of the PKK, which is also listed by the EU as a terrorist organization, to attend an event at the European Parliament and propagating terrorism therein amount to openly extending support to terrorism,” a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry read.
“We strongly condemn this unofficial event which also disregards the principle of countering terrorist organizations without discrimination,” it added.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesperson posted angry tweets condemning the conference.
“Those who let bloody-minded terrorists speak under the roof of the [European Parliament] have become accomplices,” İbrahim Kalın said.
In addition to Kurdish journalists and politicians residing in Europe, Western experts also delivered speeches at the conference.