Turkey, Europe

Belgium's new party supports Turkey's anti-terror fight

Brussels administration should not have 'two-sided' approach on PKK/FETO, say 'Be.One' party co-founders

Meryem Göktaş, Sorwar Alam   | 16.02.2018
Belgium's new party supports Turkey's anti-terror fight The co-founders of the “Be.One” party, Meryem Kacar (R) and Dyab Abou Jahjah

Ankara

By Yusuf Hatip

BRUSSELS

A newly formed political party in Belgium has expressed its support for Turkey's counter-terrorism operations against the PKK as well as the fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), a group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

The co-founders of the “Be.One” party, Meryem Kacar and Dyab Abou Jahjah, voiced their support for Ankara in an interview with Anadolu Agency in Brussels on Friday.

Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Lebanese activist and writer, said that instead of developing its relations with Turkey, Europe displayed an opposite stance.

"We, as Belgians, expected our government to openly condemn the July 15 [2016] coup attempt and to support the democratic institutions," he said.

Jahjah pointed out that Europe was ambiguous in its attitude toward the coup attempt.

“Europe condemned the coup attempt softly but sympathized with the supporters of the coup attempt,” he said. 

Islamophobia in Belgium

Jahjah noted he believed that Islamophobia was a kind of racism, and no political party was willing to tackle this problem.

"When we listen to the people in power, we see that they do not fight against Islamophobia but feed it,” he said.

Jahjah also said the Muslim citizens of Belgium contributed to the society at all levels.

"On the paper, everyone is equal but in practice it is different. The main reason for the creation of terrorism is inequality against citizens.”

‘More than half of the voters in Brussels are of foreign origin’

Meryem Kacar, a former senator of the Green Party, also stressed that sympathy was shown for the terrorist organizations the PKK and FETO in Belgium and the Brussels administration should not have a "two-sided" approach.

Kacar said the main reason for establishing a new political party was that the classical political parties in the country no longer represented the Belgian citizens of foreign origin.

"It is very important that we do politics by preserving our religion, language, and culture, and integrate into society,” she said, adding that the main aim of the party was to end the inequalities against people of foreign origin.

"The rhetoric of the extremist right-wing parties about Muslims is worrying. This must be ended," she said.

“In this regard, Belgium has failed this segment [of the society]. We have to put an end to this discrimination. More than half of the electors in Brussels are not of Belgian origin. We want to appraise this potential.”

A lawyer, political activist, and writer, Jahjah is the founder of the European Arab League (AEL).

He was a columnist for Belgium's leading newspapers De Standaard between 2014 and 2017, and ranks fourth in the Knack magazine's list of the most influential foreign figures in Belgium.

However, Kacar is a lawyer and was also a senator in Belgium between 1999 and 2003. She has also served as a member of the international advisory board of the Presidency of Foreign Turks and Relatives Communities (YTB), a Turkish state institute.

Local and general elections in Belgium are expected to be held in 2019. The newly established party “Be.One” is also expected to participate in the elections.

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