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‘Shocked’ by harassment in Erbil airport: German MP

  2021-06-13  | 
 Zhyan News Network
File Photo - German lawmaker of Kurdish descent from the Left Party (Die Linke) Hakan Tas during a meeting. Photo by Britta Pedersen
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – German lawmaker of Kurdish descent from the Left Party (Die Linke) Hakan Tas said on Saturday (June 13) that he was shocked that he was harassed by the Kurdish security forces in Erbil International Airport upon arrival to the Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil, likewise, he has faced similar incidents in Turkey in the past.

On Saturday, a delegation of foreign lawmakers, politicians and activists were detained by the security forces affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Erbil airport and were interrogated, while dozens of others including Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink were deported.

“I was shocked that something like this was happening to me not only in Turkey but also in Kurdistan,” Tas told the German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.

Tas told the paper that he was interrogated twice, his passport was seized, not allowed to use his smartphone and was not received food during his about 15-hour detention. 

The lawmaker said that the police officers in the airport “looked through his photos and Instagram account and wanted to know who he intended to meet.”

Also on Saturday, more than twenty others including another Left Party lawmaker, Cansu Özdemir, were also detained by the German security forces in Dusseldorf International Airport and not permitted to fly to Erbil citing security concerns.  

Arling Folkvord, a former Norwegian lawmaker and member of the group, said at a news conference that they aim to “break silence in the European media about the ongoing occupation from Turkey and the other purpose is to show the Kurdistan people have friends also in Europe and also in the NATO countries.”

Since April 23, Turkey has started an operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Duhok’s border areas and erected several military bases adding up to dozen others in the Kurdistan Region.

PKK has started an armed struggle against the Turkish authorities since 1984, calling for Kurds’ cultural rights in Turkey.

Four civilians have wounded in the Turkish bombardments and scores of villages have been evacuated since the new Turkish operation started, despite repercussions to the wildlife, the orchards and groves.

On Sunday, a vehicle was destroyed in a drone airstrike likely to have been carried out by Turkey in Sulaimani’s Pishdar area, killing four people. 

Turkey’s airstrikes and artillery fries are almost a daily occurrence in the Kurdistan Region’s border areas that are inhabited by the PKK members. 

The conflict has pitted the KDP, which is the main component of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), against the PKK as they are on the brink of a new civil war, reminiscent of a previous one in the nineties that claimed the lives of thousands on both sides.  

(Zhyan English)