Turkey Closes Border to Kurds Crossing to Fight ISIS

Turkish soldiers block a border crossing as Kurds gather to show solidarity with Kurdish fighters in Kobane

ANKARA, Turkey (Rudaw)—Kurdish activists expressed outrage as the Turkish military began preventing any young person from crossing the border to fight Islamic militants in Syria, where Kurdish forces have been fighting to save the city of Kobane.

Turkish troops were out in force in Mursitpinar, on the Turkish-Syrian border that abuts Kobane.

“Kobane’s fall means Kurdistan’s fall,” said Ferhat Encu, a 29-year-old Turkish-Kurd from Sirnak.

“We can’t sit here and just watch. I’m trying to get into Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), but the Turks have blocked the border,” said Encu, who was a frontier guard before leaving to fight for Kobane earlier this month. He returned for a break, and now cannot go back.

The Turkish government fears young Kurds returning with military and weapons skills, after fighting alongside the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG), the main protection force in Rojava. That is because of the group’s links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a 30-year war in Turkey for greater rights.

Selahattin Demirtas, a leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) crossed the border into Kobane on Tuesday in a visit of solidarity. He later called on the Turkish government to support the fight of Syrian Kurds against ISIS. He said this was an opportunity to strengthen Turkey’s peace process with its own Kurdish population.

“I want to go to Kobane and fight the IS, which is right now butchering my people, but I can’t,” complained Hamo Sen, a 30-year-old Turkish-Kurd from Urfa.

Media reports say that hundreds of young Kurdish men and women from Turkey are believed to have crossed the border to fight. “Many young people want to go to Rojava to join YPG against IS,” Encu claimed.

Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, a fortnight ago urged Kurds to “mass mobilize” against IS.

“Not only the people of Rojava, but also everyone in the North (Turkey) and other parts of Kurdistan should act accordingly,” he said in a message sent through his lawyers.

The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet recently reported that 30-year-old Serdar Macit, a former Turkish archery champion, is among those who have taken to Rojava to fight with the YPG against the militants.

“It is an honor to be a part of YPG, who are fighting against injustice,” Macit told Turkish media.

Many locals are convinced that Turkey – which has for years turned a blind eye to Islamic militants using its territory for “jihad” in Syria — is actively supporting IS with heavy weaponry, medical care and money.

Sen accused the Turkish authorities of double standards.

“They turn a blind eye to jihadists crossing into Rojava, while we can’t go there to fight for our people,” Sen complained.

In New York last week for the UN General Assembly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied backing the jihadists. Any support for “any terrorist group is out of the question, as Turkey is a country which has suffered heavily from terrorism in the past,” he was quoted as saying.

The US-led anti-IS coalition launched airstrikes targeting militant strongholds on the outskirts of Kobane for the first time early Saturday.

Tens of thousands have fled the IS assaults on Kobane that began about 10 days ago, many washing across the Turkish border.


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  1. tommy said:

    ISS is fighting for Turkey. The Turks don’t want the Kurds to fight back and protect themselves.No morals.Not surprising.

  2. GB said:

    Turkey planning ahead of Kurdish uprising in their own territories! I won’t be surprised after ISIS wipe out Iraqi Kurds, then victorious Erdoghan will send his troops into Iraq, make a peace with ISIS Jihadists, occupy oil fields peacefully, and fool US and NATO one more time! This is how Turkic herds invaded and occupied entire Armenian Highlands!

    • Nevzat said:

      No, not so. Armenians have been giving away their land and their women since 360 A.D. because of lack of unity against all historical bloodthirsty thieving enemies. Put three Armenians in a room for an hour, given a subject to talk about and after an hour they will all hate each other over the most trivial points. Put an Armenian in a room for an hour with two turks and after that hour the Armenian “thinks” he has new friends.

      • Armenian said:

        Very true. Just look at Russophile attempts to alienate Armenia from its diaspora so they can continue giving the entire country to their “historic” “Orthodox brothers” while ignoring to tap into the resource-rich diaspora and utilizing it for making Armenia stronger.

        • Armenian Christian said:

          I must say I agree with you on this but the armenian government is as much to blame as the russians…

  3. Areg said:

    ISIS is a creation of the Western World with direct blessing of Turkey and Turkish terrorist groups compromising 30% of the manpower of this terror group.
    Do not believe what the press is saying and what it wishes for the uneducated masses to understand. The press in the Western World has created a brain dead readership of no understanding of this dirty political games.
    What is going on? The West created and supported the ISIS and now is in intent of her destruction! Do not believe it. The Kurdish leadership must not trust anyone. The Turkish government and her Genocidal policies is to wipe out the Kurdish Question as she tried with the Armenian Question. The Genocide continues and will continue as longest Turkey has a green light of the Western World.
    The Western World must dump Turkey and her Pan-Turkism policies. One may simply wonder if the Pan Turkism does not have the blessing of the Western World.

  4. zarkim said:

    In Istanbul, ISIS Operated Mosques Said to Be Training Azeri Jihadists
    Turkish terrorists attacked Kessab encouraged by the Americans/allies and NATO.
    TURKISH terrorists have made plenty of money from lootings (Syria and Iraq). THEY have mugged and looted their neighbours for years.
    Mr Obama has promised that he will get all ISIS terrorists. There is no where they can hide from him. However, Mr Obama only mentions the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Somehow, he overlooks the ones in TURKEY… ISIS is very active in Turkey.
    Turkey has recently made a DEAL with the TERRORISTS during their FAKE hostage negotiations. Hours after this DEAL, Der Zor memorial church was destroyed by Turkish thugs.
    Turkey’s borders have been open for ISIS from the beginning. Kurdish people are no fools!
    The recent joint American and Allies effort in Syria is good news. If Mr Obama patiently continues these operations, we will see the end of evil. THEN, Syria will return to what it was BEFORE. So, why did they start all this?
    Syria has been a SHELTER to millions of ETHNIC minorities for centuries. Why does anyone want to destroy it? Learn from Syria about MULTICULTURALISM. Syria should be congratulated. Even ISRAELIS used Syria as a safe-heaven. Look at the way THEY show their appreciation.

  5. Alex Postallian said:

    JERKY turkey is isis…BORN,BRED,FINANCED BY JERKY turkey..Where are the ferocious warriors of jerky,needing help,from everyone,to fight their own people…BECAUSE the JERKS are COWARDS,and the traitors,that support them,for BRIBES…..