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FORMER Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw has dished out a “humanitarian award” to the wife of Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a ceremony in London.
Tony and Cherie Blair were also keynote speakers at the World Humanitarian Forum, a two-day event ending today that critics say was “designed to whitewash Turkey’s war crimes.”
Rosa Gilbert from the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign (KSC) told the Morning Star: “It is a huge insult to see Jack Straw — complicit in extraordinary rendition and torture, not to mention the disastrous war on Iraq — lecture us on ‘humanitarianism’ while handing awards to a Turkish regime that has aided and abetted jihadists in Syria and used their Nato membership to wage a dirty, murderous war on Kurds both in Syria and Turkey.”
Emine Erdoğan, Turkey's first lady, was presented with the "Changemaker" award at the at the World Humanitarian Forum held in London. pic.twitter.com/EHT93peoOw
— ANews (@anewscomtr) April 18, 2019
In 2004 when he was foreign secretary, Mr Straw is alleged to have authorised the rendition of a pregnant woman to the torture chambers of Libya’s then dictator Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.
The arch-Blairite bestowed a “Changemaker” award on first lady Emine Erdogan yesterday in recognition of her humanitarian work with Palestinians and the Rohingya.
However, her husband is less keen on supporting national minorities in Turkey and Syria, where he has led a crackdown on Kurdish people.
Ms Gilbert alleged the Turkish state was behind the awards ceremony and said that it was “unsurprising to see disgraced politicians like the Blairs and Jack Straw … whitewash Turkey’s war crimes.”
She recalled Mr Blair’s proscription of the Kurdistan Workers Party under the Terrorism Act 2000, a ban that was opposed by Jeremy Corbyn at the time.
“We hope that under Corbyn, Labour has shifted away from the murderous clutches of Erdogan and will support Kurdish socialists,” Ms Gilbert said.
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