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Chomsky: US Ally Erdogan a 'Murderer' Viciously Killing Kurds

  • Relatives of Siyar Salman mourn over his grave during a funeral ceremony in the Kurdish dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey.

    Relatives of Siyar Salman mourn over his grave during a funeral ceremony in the Kurdish dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 January 2016

Renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky said Turkey and the U.S. could not protect the Kurds and the Yazidis while attacking Kurdish guerrilla groups in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a “murderer” and has reconstituted horrendous repressive policies against the Kurdish population in Turkey that were implemented during the 1990s by the Turkish state, killing thousands of people, world-leading intellectual Noam Chomsky said during an interview with Al Jazeera’s program “Up Front.”

Chomsky told Mehdi Hasan, host of the “Up Front” program, that Erdogan is “undoubtedly carrying out vicious repressive actions attacking the Kurdish population. You can call it what you like ... I call it a murder.”

When asked about how to respond to the threat of the Islamic State group, Chomsky said the Kurdish forces in Turkey and Syria should be supported, who also happened to be on Washington’s terrorism list.

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The United States could not be trying to save the Yazidis and the Kurds while also supporting Turkish oppression against the Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been the main force in fighting the Islamic State group.

“If we are interested in attacking (the Islamic State group) and saving the Yazidis and saving the Kurds we can not say we are going to attack (the PKK),” the leading academic and linguist said.

He also rejected the term “lesser of two evils” when evoked by the interviewer, referring to the PKK.

“If you want to rank evils the United States and Britain are so far higher than anybody else. We have to deal with the world as it exists”, he said, adding: “If you want to defend the Kurds you cannot be attacking the Kurds."

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While acknowledging the PKK had in fact carried out attacks against civilians in the past, Chomsky said a realistic look at the world requires providing support to the PKK and other Kurdish groups who are the main force against the extremist group in Syria.

“I am not an absolute pacifist. I think there are times when the use of military forces defensively is legit … Defending the Kurds against the (Islamic State group) attacks yes that is legitimate,” Chomsky said.

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But the renowned professor said the the Islamic State group was not the only threat to the Kurds and the Syrian people. He said that the U.S. was turning a blind eye to other extremist groups, like al-Qaida’s affiliate Nusra Front, which is supported by Washington's allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the five-year Syrian conflict and how to resolve it, Chomsky said the only solution to the crisis in Syria is not through bombing Damascus but through negotiations with the Syrian government.

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Noam Chomsky
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