Turkey Detains Medical Association Members over Syria Offensive Criticism

Howard TerryJan 31, 2018

The health ministry on Monday said it had filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of the 11 executive council members because they were "acting against the law".

The incursion into Afrin canton allows Turkey to strike at valuable PKK strongholds close to the Turkish border, damage the strength of the Kurdish polity in northern Syria and thereby attempt to destroy the possibility of a Syrian Kurdish quasi-state emerging on its souther border in the aftermath of the war.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Ali Şeker announced the detention warrants via his Twitter account.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office issued detention warrants for the 11 members of the council early on January 30.

The letter, published by Turkey's Hurriyet daily, said the Orthodox Church had not forgotten that hundreds of thousands of people were now displaced because of the Syrian conflict.

"Your determined attitude in strictly rejecting any association of terrorism with religion is being reflected on to world opinion", the Istanbul-based Bartholomew I told President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an open letter.

The association's head office received a "large number of threats of violence by email and phone calls", rights group Amnesty International said after the public outcry.

"Believe me, they are not intellectuals at all, they are a gang of slaves".

Turkish authorities have cracked down on any expression of dissent over the air-and-ground offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Syria's Afrin region. "This is real filth, this is the honourless stance that should be said "no" to", Erdogan said.

The TTB members will join 311 journalists and activists who have been arrested on terror charges for speaking out against the war.

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