Turkey invents, discovers PKK 'terror' ahead of U.S. talks  - analyst

Turkish pro-government media mobilises to either create or discover new terror by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) each time before Ankara holds a high-level meeting or call with Washington, analyst Seth Frantzman wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

Frantzman highlighted a report by Turkish state media last week on the discovery of an alleged mass grave with over 60 bodies in Syria’s Afrin region, where it claimed victims had been executed by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

The Kurdish-majority YPG militia has played a vital role in the U.S.-led coalition’s ground operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region. But Turkey views the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish self rule in Turkey for four decades, thus a threat to national security. Turkey has conducted three military campaigns into Syria to push the group south from the Turkish-Syrian border region.

The victims in the mass grave were people killed by Turkey and buried in rows of marked graves until Turkey bulldozed the grave markers in 2018, Frantzman cited Kurds as saying, noting that Ankara has “discovered a grave it reportedly desecrated’’and is “creating false reports.’’ 

The analyst pointed to a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart in June, before which an “invented’’ report emerged on a “YPG/PKK terror attack on hospital in Afrin, which stopped receiving coverage after the pair’s long-awaited meeting took place. 

Such reports, which are apparently invented, disappear from coverage following important meetings, Frantzman said, noting that coverage is also “usually in English to convince western audiences, with no real push in Arabic or Turkish about the same issue.’’

Meanwhile, the international community has given Turkey’s occupation and ethnic cleansing in northern Syria “a stamp of approval unlike the way the international community monitored ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1990s,’’ the analyst wrote.