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Turkey's Erdogan branded a terrorist, war criminal and ally to jihadists

TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been branded a terrorist, war criminal and ally to jihadists ahead of a major demonstration tomorrow against his war on Kurds in Syria.

As Mr Erdogan jails his enemies under trumped-up charges of “terrorism,” Ibo Avcil, spokesman for Turkish and Kurdish community group Gik-Der, slammed the president himself as “a terrorist who is committing war crimes against civilians in northern Syria with jihadist mercenaries.”

British-based Kurds have called on trade unionists and the labour movement to take to the streets and “stop the full-scale genocide of the Kurdish people.”

Internationally recognised artist and journalist Zehra Dogan led the calls for people to “break the silence” and stop the massacre in Rojava, the semi-autonomous region of northern Syria which is under attack by Nato’s second-largest army.

She told the Star: “The world is gradually darkening. States are ruled by massively stupid leaders and their favourite games are the ones with guns. They take joy from blood. Innocent children are being massacred in Rojava.”

Ms Dogan was jailed for almost three years in 2016 for a painting depicting Turkish military operations in Nusaybin.

Around 80 per cent of the largely Kurdish town was destroyed by Turkish forces as they bombarded it during an offensive ostensibly against the Kurdistan Workers Party.

She was branded as a terrorist and charged with inciting violence against the Turkish state, but remains defiant.

“They say they will darken my life when I go back to Turkey,” Ms Dogan explained, but she insisted: “I am not scared of them. We are not scared of them. Let’s show this.”

Urging support for tomorrow’s demonstration, she said: “Today the whole world must rise. Let’s show war-loving rulers that we are not scared of them.”

Despite Mr Erdogan’s claims to be creating a “safety zone” to clear Turkey’s borders of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, he has never been able to shake off persistent allegations of extensive links to jihadists.

European intelligence reports claimed that he commissioned the Isis suicide attacks on a 2015 Ankara peace rally in which at least 109 people were killed.

In August, it was revealed that the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation had been smuggling scores of former Isis fighters across borders to head up battalions in the occupation of Afrin, which Ankara’s military invaded in January 2018.

Turkey is alleged to have been the main buyer of oil originating from Isis sources in Iraq. Mr Erdogan and his family were accused by Russia of personally benefiting from the criminal oil trade in late 2015.

It is also alleged that Turkish forces have supplied weapons, equipment and training to Isis and other Islamist groups.

Turkey faces potential war crimes charges after its forces were accused of rape, torture and summary executions during its invasion of northern Syria.

An autopsy report on murdered Future Syria Party leader Hevrin Khalef revealed that she was beaten and tortured before being shot several times through the head by fighters from the pro-Turkish militia Ahrar al-Sharqiya.

Turkey is also accused of using chemical weapons against civilians in airstrikes.

The death toll continues to rise in Syria with at least 218 civilians — including 18 children — killed since the offensive began, according to figures from the Kurdish Red Crescent.

Battle continued to rage around the besieged city of Sere Kaniye despite the ceasefire agreement, with scores of bodies being pulled from the rubble after Turkish air strikes and artillery fire pummelled the city for nine days straight.

The Women’s Protection Units commander in the Sere Kaniye countryside said: “Turkish-backed factions are reassuring one another over radio that they will not back down or stop fighting even if there is a ceasefire.”

Mr Avcil likewise warned that war crimes had been committed against civilians by Turkish forces and jihadist armed groups.

He hit out at the condemnation of the European Union and the US as “hypocrisy,” saying they continue full co-operation with the Turkish state behind closed doors.

“Britain and other imperialist forces, including the EU and US, are complicit in the war crimes of Erdogan and the fascist Turkish state,” he said, explaining the history of the nation is a history of massacres and genocide.

“Today the state wants carry out full-scale genocide against the Kurdish people.  The only way to stop this is through street action of the ordinary working-class people and the labour movement.”

“We call everyone to join the demonstration on Sunday October 20 at 1pm in front of the BBC and to stand against wars and invasions.”

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