Asia - Pacific

Malaysian NGOs condemn killing of 13 Turkish citizens

International community should firmly reject violence of PKK and its allies, says umbrella group head

Pizaro Gozali Idrus   | 17.02.2021
Malaysian NGOs condemn killing of 13 Turkish citizens


A group of Malaysian organizations has joined the global condemnation of 13 Turkish nationals' brutal execution by the terrorist group PKK in northern Iraq.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations, an umbrella group of dozens of NGOs, late Tuesday said they consider "barbaric execution" of civilians "a total disregard for international law."

The group called for an independent investigation so that the perpetrators will be prosecuted.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, the council's head, said in a written statement that Turkey's cross-border military operations against the PKK in Iraq and Syria are Ankara's right to secure itself from cross-border attacks.

"We support Turkey's resolve to fight terrorism and foreign powers that are trying to undermine the sovereignty of Turkey," he added.

He rejected the violent approach by the PKK to disrupt peace in Turkey while demanding a separate state.

The Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia also condemned the killing, saying in a statement: "This is one of the series of atrocities committed towards Turkish civilians by the PKK, which has been labeled a terrorist organization at the international level."

The PKK "has been promoting violence and is rejected by the Kurdish community itself," said Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz, the movement's head.

Citing the PKK's abduction of children to turn them into terrorists, Azis said: "As an assertion, the international communities should firmly reject the violent movement organized by PKK and its alliances."

Meanwhile, the Movement for An Informed Society Malaysia, another NGO, also condemned the PKK's killing of Turkish citizens.

"We need to underline the fact that the silence of the international public, including the Western World, over the PKK massacre is indeed deafening," said Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman, head of the group.

Rahman stressed that Turkey has a right to self-defense against cross-border PKK attacks on the military and civilians.

The head of the Palestinian Culture Organization of Malaysia also "expressed full solidarity with the Turkish people and government in these tough times."

"The murder of civilians is a heinous crime that should not be tolerated, and Turkey has full right to protect its people and security from such acts. Culprits should be brought to justice," said Muslim Imran.

The Malaysian Turkish Alumni Network, representing many Malaysian graduates from universities in Turkey, also condemned the "horrible crime and terrorist act in the strongest terms."

"We all sympathies and share in the pain of the Turkish people," the alumni network said in a statement to Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia Merve Kavakci.

Kavakci said: "We are grateful to see the unwavering support of the international community."

"Among them are People of Malaysia, standing in solidarity with the people of Turkey," she added, noting that several organizations from Malaysia "such as MAPIM [Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations], ABIM [Muslim Youth Movement Malaysia], and WADAH [Movement for An Informed Society Malaysia] have shown their solidarity during these trying times."

The Malaysian Turkish Alumni Network voiced condolences and prayers to the families of the 13 Turkish citizens who were murdered, as well as to all Turkish people in the loss of their fellow citizens.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Sunday said the bodies of 13 Turkish citizens were found during Operation Claw-Eagle 2, a Turkish counter-terrorism operation in Northern Iraq.

Turkish forces launched the operation on Feb. 10 to prevent the PKK and other terror groups from re-establishing positions used to carry out cross-border terror attacks on Turkey.

Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were launched last June to ensure the safety of Turkey's people and borders.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita in Jakarta

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