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tv   Conflict Zone  Deutsche Welle  January 9, 2020 4:30am-5:00am CET

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i'm not laughing at the germans well i guess sometimes they are placed and laughing with them and i think deep into the german culture. we take this ground yeah you laugh and all that who had no time rachel join me anything can be happy. when you do it in the way it's for public order them to do with it's oppression ok a lot of people take this any further you cannot fight one terrorist organization with another turkey has outraged many of its allies and partners with its military operations in syria and the whole catalogue of human rights violations against its own people my guest this week here at the foreign policy forum in berlin is turkey's presidential spokesman. how does he justify his country's highly controversial policies i've spoken and abroad.
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in cali welcome to comfort zone thank you let's start with mr arthur once trip to washington a couple of weeks ago. he went to change minds to change influential minds in the united states to talk about the justification for your military action in syria but he appears to have failed to change those minds comprehensively why did that happen do you think but for us to visit went well actually we have a good relationship with the trumpet ministration some people that the congress will be with trump rather than move ministration well if you want to make that distinction that's for domestic american politics to comment about but obviously some people in the congress have a different view the ones he hoped to influence had a different yeah and our president made a very clear case act. so the for why we went in there because our goal has been to
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clear our border with syria from more terrorists elements for a better isis or p.k. related groups but they weren't buying it were they well i think they are meeting members of the republican party senator lindsey graham for instance chairman of the senate judiciary committee he seems to have particularly angered your president by talking about the military action as an invasion but what did you expect while he got his answer obviously our president told him very clearly that he cannot call turkey an invader but the president also got his answer didn't he said the reason it's an invasion this is lindsey graham the reason it's an invasion is that's exactly what you did i warned you not to do it and everything that i was worried about came true in spades but it is senator graham who said couple of years ago to ask quarter then defense minister of the united states that p.k. k. is the same as p y d y p g p y d y p g in syria he's the p.k. he's the one he said this on record now he's changed his position it's not for me to comment on his flip flopping on this issues but we have had
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a very clear policy line on this issue we do not want to see any terrorist element taking over a piece of land rolling over people in syria whether by k.k.k. or isis or al qaeda or any other groups and you have according to the pentagon that's exactly the effect of what you've done the pentagon said just a week ago crates quoting information from the defense intelligence agency the terrorist organization there talking about isis exploited the turkish incursion and movement of u.s. forces to reconstitute capabilities and resources within syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad that's exactly what you didn't want to happen is that well to the contrary actually it was p y d y p g in. that release about 800 isis terrorists in prison when president trump spoke to our president about what he's going to do about the isis prisoners on our president said very clearly on that phone call that we. we'll take
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care of them that is we will keep them locked up we will not release them we will try them we will try to return them to their countries of origin and this is what we did but it was by p g p y d that released them from prison in russell and they know this that's on the record eminently foreseeable that that would happen why will they did that and this why did why did why this is the result but why did why p.g. did that. for of for before that you very clear you're well what's the answer the answer is that p y d y p g wants to use isis actually as a bargaining chip in the eyes of the west telling them that you know without the y d y p g the fight against isis will be successful they need p y d y p g on the ground to fight isis and be argued to the contrary from the very beginning you cannot fight one terrorist organization with another one you cannot fight isis with the p.k. k. but if the effect is that 6 months down the line isis in a much stronger position what are you going to do just say sorry feel military action we fought against isis in the jobless area with your face shield operation
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we have eliminated more than 3000 isis terrorists v. have about 1200 isis prisoners in turkey more than half of them are international setters some are turkish we are keeping them in prison we are not releasing them we are going after all isis elements if you look at the turkish syrian border which is about 911 kilometers all the way from the iraqi border there is not a single isis element present in that strip of land you have cleared our border from the isis and fact we made this case to president obama before he decided or when he decided to support p y d y p g in the fight against isis we told them look you don't need p y d to fight against isis we can do this with the national elements in syria we can do it with the turkish army don't want we don't need to have u.s. troops on the ground but you can provide air support ok and you can take care of isis there's an alan let me let me just go back to your justification for this
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operation do you have a right to make your border area safe from terrorism to force militant kurdish groups i.v. y p g out of this so-called terror corridor but very few countries are buying this long and if the job of a presidential spokesman is to sell the president's line you're not having much success. you look at the us ambassador james jeffrey 1st. department's point man on syria he said turkey launched this operation despite our objections undermining the isis campaign risking endangering and displacing civilians destroying civilian infrastructure and threatening the security of the area that's not much of an accolade does none of that happen actually they claim he doesn't know what he's talking about well that's not what he told us in our meetings i've had many meetings with jim he's a good friend and of course as professionals we work on this issues together he may be a good friend percy now great narendra none of those ranges that you actually came true if you look at they said that there will be a huge humanitarian crisis with the turkish military operation it didn't happen
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people went back to their homes they said the kurds will be attacked no kurds were attacked except p y d y p g terrorists on the ground they said christian minorities will be oppressed or killed none of that happened in fact it was our military that. just recently iranian church a plane well i now hear of worship being peacefully in russell and i'm talking about the army and church there so all the things that you know that have violations that they said would happen and have happened happened where where exactly give me some examples ambassador jeffrey interest and pastor geoffrey again gave you examples he said we would say that turkish supported syrian opposition forces who were under general turkish command and at least one instance did carry out a war crime and we demanded an explanation you claimed you claimed a number of investigations were under way trying to human rights abuses so you're asking me about something you already know how many investigations by the way and
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by whom and number of investigation by our military have been launched how many missed the kalam how many some of them are operational details i would rather not you can tell me if there are any now writes probably us all to find out as a good journalist you don't know and you don't know why it's just a blanket excuses in this look if you look at the civilian casualties in the syrian war. can you guess how many people how many civilians have died in the operation in iraq or make a guess we're not talking about no you're talking about syria those are talking about syrian civilians severely talking about human rights violations around 3000 civilian people died in iraq or. the city of raka was destroyed level to the ground around a 1000 people civilians were killed in the resort and in mosul again in the fight against isis if you're going to talk about all this i think we should be very candid and clear about this issue and it would be nice to be really level you have
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ours on your very very about your rights invest in young 9 to 11 series very heroes in the fight against isis in mosul alone how many civilians have been killed in our operation this coming you don't have a great record on investigating human rights violations do you so why should things be different now if in 2016 the un committee against torture cited credible reports of turkish more enforcement officials in gauging in torture and treatment of detainees the committee said it was concerned at the reported impunity enjoyed 'd by those who committed such acts impunity doesn't suggest you are doing much investigation into those things does that we have a 0 tolerance policy towards torture we have in fact clear our prisons our judicial system for torture and we've had this in the past but what you're referring to is what happened right after the bloody coup attempt on july 15th 2016 when the fetter terrorists carry that it could tempt in turkey killing 251 people
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a dozen whites and suter tortured people i didn't say there is torture i'm not saying this to justify it i'm referring to those who made those claims who were actually behind this quick temper killing 251 people injuring about 1200 people they had the intent to kill the elected president of turkey the reports mr kalin go on and on 2 years ago the ngo freedom from torture said that from 2011 to 2016 all the years were missed the one in the k.p. had been in power turkey was one of the top 10 countries for referrals after torture and in 2016 you moved into the top 5 no known investigations were carried out in a number of investigations have been carried dominated we have how many and by whom you want to say 203040. well i can give you what you call detail i'd like the truth i will i can i will be had like give you the exact numbers i don't have the reports with no i'll be happy to send them to you in 2070 in the council of europe's
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commissioner for human rights said the problem of effective investigations and impunity of security forces is a very longstanding and entrenched problem in turkey so you're not fooling anyone you know is talk of if you're not if this is falling anyone we're taking care of our own national security then you face this kind of credible national security threats against the p.k. k. or from the p.k. here from isis terrorist from fetter terrorists those terrorist organizations in the west only recognizes one of them that is isis because it attacks western interests but the others since they are only in turkey and attacking turkey the elected government security forces or the civilians nobody wants to talk about it mr cohen you sent in last month you sent in your syrian proxy forces into the northeast corridor of the country knowing that in all likelihood they would torture abuse and possibly murder people because that's exactly what they had done in the
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northern city of africa which you seized in $2818.00 isn't it not at all in august that year amnesty international reported you gave free rein to syrian groups armed by you to commit serious human rights abuses in africa that didn't happen enough and there was looting enough and they were penalized but it's the same group of the by the way you're talking about the syrians themselves fighting for their own freedom for their own country against the brutality of the assad regime to which the western world has not turned a blind eye we're the only ones actually taking care of millions of refugees and the syrians in both turkey and on the syrian side it's the same syrian national army which the americans supported or plumbs to support 5 years ago 6 years ago they changed their policy in the course of time is the same syrian people who fought against the assad forces in the in the period. when they fought against assad and isis in that area everybody applauded them what's the situation when it came to when they came to p y the y p g held areas suddenly the air changed they
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said well there are terrorists they are jihadists they are the same people who fought in it that everybody is thankful to turkey for keeping things under control in italy because we prevented another maybe i don't see. much gratitude coming your way at the moment or basically taking care of about 7000000 syrian refugees for the last 45 years we are preventing another major humanitarian crisis and other migration for from there i know doing more than anyone i know like we do you know what the situation in africa is now it's very it's very calm no there is no very calm ok there is no ice is there is no p.y.t. there much of what you are saying gal you say journalists and saying is very comfortable in syria you say the reason they are number 7 about the reason they are upset about often they lost a big chunk of land if you ask the origin of kurdish people living enough in this is about 400001 way in africa and ask them how they are being treated now
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compared to how they were treated under p y d y peter control 2 months ago the un human when i ask around that question to months ago the un human rights of this reported the situation in africa contrary to your nice assurances remained dire armed factions have carved up the province into zones of influence there was repeated kidnappings torture extortion and assassination that some legacy you left behind doesn't it no look condi had a fine assurance p y d y p g terrorists which are the marxist leninist leftist group which is supported by all the freedom loving liberal western countries including the trumpet mr ation which is really mind boggling for me that the united states will support a marxist leninist organization in syria in the name of fighting against isis. well what's baffling to them is that you have your forces on the ground according to
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william roebuck who's the top state department official in northern syria your forces have committed abuses on the ground war crimes and ethnic cleansing he said on november the 7th turkey's military operations spearheaded by armed islamist groups on its payroll represents an intention laced effort at ethnic cleansing it was he added an unprovoked military operation that at the time he spoke november 7th had killed some 200 civilians and left over 100000 people newly displaced and homeless we've heard this many times from the centcom people within the trumpet ministration which actually never again you just themselves are reconciled with the fact that we are taking this action against their so-called allies you want them to actually. you want them to recognize they are reconciling themselves with the p k k terrorist network in syria giving them piece of land and then while at the same time talking about serious territorial integrity or ethnic balance in syria how can
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you explain the fact that you favor one ethnic group which is linked to a peak a terrorist network the so-called kurds against all the arab kurdish non-peak. the arabs the christians the turkoman all the others serious they are coming to us telling us the oppression that they are living under under device mr callan we've talked about some of the criticism of your actions especially from our allies but what you really want to stamp out is criticism at home isn't it on october the 10th your broadcast regulator. on the turkish media not to say anything critical about your action in turkey that there would be as they put it is 0 tolerance of any broadcasting that might negatively impact the morale and motivation of soldiers or may mislead citizens through incomplete falsified or partial. information that serves the aims of terror in other words you put it anything that the government
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doesn't like and you're in deep trouble so much for press freedom while you kind of freedom that media outlets in turkey the only a lot of them you've closed down the internet you have all kinds of different views attacking the president every single day attacking me and us that's why in the 1st week of the offensive you closed down 839 social media accounts for sharing as you put it criminal content 186 they were taken in and they were a chance for indicating 24 remanded in every trial to terrorist propaganda you would in a library true for that kind of you you wouldn't allow that in the u.k. when you do it in the west it's for public order when we do it it's oppression since the 2016 coup attempt 180 media outlets have been forcibly closed over 220000 websites blocked according to the ngo article 19 in september said scores of journalists remain in jail or and the travel bans hardly a proud record for you is the air but you are dealing with news outlets that are
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spreading propaganda for the terrorist network when you are dealing with a terrorist that carried out that attempt on july 15th yes they had the media empire nothing now that the media empire in turkey you fling around reason fetter evil i'm talking really aren't these accusations xperia remind me actually to spread their propaganda now unfortunately they have a free reign free right here investing capitals they're all over the place according to the germany's own committee for the protection of the constitution the presence of the p.k. kate in germany alone i have the full report here that's in german i'm sure our german colleagues will know about this you won't mind if we now go through it this is not our report by the way this is germany's on on official report in fact when president bush than meyer came to tricky when he was foreign minister about 2 years ago i think president presented this report to him as well said look this is your own report and. take us any further know what it says as he got it he says is that you are giving a free right to pick
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a care in germany why do you do that and as far as they are not doing that in turkey as far as the west is concerned this was a report from a british parliamentary committee back in 2017 there is a fundamental intolerance of alternative narratives in turkey with the government broadly suppressing discrediting or punishing those who contradicted accounts of sensitive events look there are journalists who do their job they are free to report have critical comment nobody has any problem with that there are those who spread propaganda who use actually id cards press courts but function as p.k. operatives who and those are people who you subject to extreme conditions in your prison like ahmed sheikh for instance from generally at newspaper really he were reported to have been good and evil and actually solitary resilin fine by the good man is in the 1st place he was put in prison by the glenister so that makes it all right now the non-elect him in prison no what i'm saying this is this is the extent
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of the power that these people had in turkey we are clearing them from the media out that from the judiciary from the police for delivering your cleaning you don't have anything against him no no no i'm talking about the effect of people that had in fact the judiciary did the security forces in their hands and now we are for clearing them most of the things that you're referring to in fact is a reference to this people i'm referring also to what the e.u. commission in its latest report called the backsliding on human rights backsliding in a number of areas affecting human rights it says your accession negotiations have affectively come to a standstill it's time to end this isn't it because you have no intention of meeting the conditions for membership that have been set down by the have you ever promised to be a full member in the european union many many many times and then you violated human rights left right isn't and we've been making waiting since. to 63 or fisher levy got an official date in 2004 and 5 it was our president president edwin actually
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who put so much political capital into this and we were presented with a package of 36 chapters no candidate member was ever presented with this many chapters and then what happened 15 years later the open on the one chapter close only one chapter i'm not even tears very well you say you're the victim here you like to play the victim the victim of what biased against turkey i don't see myself as a victim i'm just stating the facts look there is an enlargement process or fatigue in europe and there are creations to be met they want they don't want to and you don't need spend the cal and that you don't negotiate fatigue in turkey also how long will it take another century for turkey to be a full member that's 2 years in it and one thing how vibe night edition is it could happen or look most of the if you're not there just talking about for example in eastern mediterranean today is related to cyprus if you remember what happened in 2004 with the underfed on the. for the unification of the island the turkish side
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said yes the greeks said no and what happened afterwards in fact that you will do what you will of this down or whatever turkish air force that you talked so much about is this part of the anti turkish chorus that you often talk about i'm talking about what are you what are you saying that here can say you saying the e.u. is biased. in the in the e.u. after the referendum what they did instead of actually. challenging the greek side on this issue they accepted the greek side as a full member and that violated another key principle you don't bring in bilateral territorial disputes into the e.u. they did exactly that and now for the last 1415 years we've been dealing with this issue what my point is that it's either cyprus or human rights issues or security or turkish but it's one thing after another that is presented as a as an excuse or an obstacle for trapezium membership ok so you know what you know what the conditions are where you are going to be we're not calling
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a day then we call it a day you want to do it they can they're welcome to do it we are still committed to joining the e.u. as a full member nothing short of a full member mr cowen let's just look briefly in the time we have left at the purges the people who were after the coup attempt in 26 i think i would answer the people who were fired from their jobs many thousands of them had to be cleared later on because the charges against them were nonsense were thousands of people who were falsely implicated in the coup attempt had to be installed because the allegations against the war for us not that they had the chance to defend themselves before they were fired this is life from the your a.k.p. in the or we are getting hurt you have no doubt on the essential light or the western side of berlin right now does it matter what on the eastern side you know how many people were fired from their jobs when the unification happened we're not talking about. german i'm not talking about you have to say i know you don't want to talk about this you have to be needed in france that irish thing you know when
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it comes to about your own issues you want to provide the context when it comes to turkey you deny me the right to state the context i'm asking audience here how many people were fired from their jobs when the unification happened in 1000 this is give you the number 500000 people so you want workers these are soldiers that start with journalists these are diplomats you can play the what about game and it's very fashionable know i'm. there you say what about what about being a somewhat oh i don't know what about china or what happened in that if you're trying to talk about your persian searing the question the very same fact is the simple thousands of people were fired and humiliated and their reputations were drawn through the mud before finally they were able to clear their names they because this is a judicial status for this chap but look what happened in the meantime they have applied those who are cleared in fact are free either to go or to apply for their jobs and that's still
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a process under way of course i'm not saying that everything is perfect here there is still room for improvement there are still thinks that we need to do to make sure that this people you know have their full rights but you have to see this in context your party has sat back and watch countless people's lives ruined while you strew allegations that the that turned out to be false there is a judicial process oh yeah sure why eventually eventually may there was there were the 4 for this 500 cares about the collateral damage they were with this 500000 people who were fired from their jobs during the unification because they were suspected of working for. the german eastern german intelligence thank you suspect we are talking about turkey we are talking about been talking about in turkey and i know that you carried out a military coup and i thank you very much for being conflicts in our pleasure thank you very much so i must. thank you.
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tower i would say don't be discouraged snatch africa join us on facebook and d.-w. africa. this is news and these are our top stories president trump says no americans or iraqis were hurt in iranian missile attacks on 2 military bases in iraq trump said the u.s. sanctions but did not announce a military response iran strikes for the tell you for the u.s. killing of general qassam sort of money and. mortars in ukraine have left tributes for the victims of a deadly plane crash in iran a ukrainian airliner crashed.


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