British MP: OPCW should conduct an investigation in Kurdistan

British parliamentarian Russel Moyle criticized that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) does not carry out an investigation into whether the Turkish state is using chemical weapons in Kurdistan.

Labour Party British MP, Russel Moyle, criticised the OPCW, saying that the organization did not conduct the necessary research despite several reports in the combat area in Kurdistan. Moyle added that more evidence should be collected regarding the war crimes of the Turkish state, specifically the use of chemical weapons.

Moyle is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kurdistan in Syria and Turkey and brought up reports on the crimes of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people in the parliament. He spoke to ANF about the duties of the OPCW, the UK's perspective on the war in Kurdistan, and the resumption of arms sales to the Turkish state.

In the past months, the APPG submitted a report on Turkey's war crimes and use of chemical weapons to the parliament. Did you get any results about it? How was this report addressed in the British Parliament?

Yes, this was one of the reports we have submitted to parliament in recent years. The Parliament accepted this report and held a subsidiary session to discuss it. In this session, we explained the details of the report to the parliament. However, no session has been held in the parliament concerning this report as the main agenda. Unfortunately, the parliament is currently discussing the Ukrainian war. Moreover, Turkey was seeking large-scale concessions from NATO on the Swedish and Finnish issue at the expense of the Kurdish people. In this process, we see that the British parliament has been shelving issues related to Turkey. In the parliament, not only me, but also conservative deputies are working on issues related to Turkey's massacres and the Kurdish people. We try to address not only Turkey's past war crimes, but also its current war crimes within the parliament. In this way, we try to raise awareness as much as possible.


What is your and your party's view of the repeated reports of Turkey using chemical weapons against the Kurds and the evidence gathered in the combat area?

Whether chemical weapons are used or not must be investigated. However, the OPCW is not conducting research as we hoped. There are many reports on the subject that come from the Kurdish regions and Northern Iraq. Of course, there are also different reports from different regions that we take into consideration. One of the most important steps to be taken is to give voice to the Kurdish people over the issue. In the past, a dialogue was established with the Kurdish people. Since this is a civil war, prohibited weapons should not be used and, of course, we are against it.”

What are the effects of arms sales to Turkey? The British government has announced that it has lifted the ban on sales, and Sweden will resume exporting arms to Turkey after the restrictions it imposed in 2019. What are your comments on arms sales?

We are highly sceptical of the ongoing arms sales to Turkey. We paid a visit to North Syria in the past, and as a result, we managed to stop arms sales for a while. The arms sales were interrupted for several years, because we proved that the Turkish state had supported some Islamist groups and massacred the Kurdish people. Unfortunately, this arms sale has recently resumed, and we know that Sweden has lifted this ban and it will sell weapons to Turkey. I hope this situation will not last too long and the ongoing arms sales to Turkey will be stopped immediately.


What can be done to make sure that Turkey stops its war and offers peace?

We must push Turkey to negotiate with the Kurds in the region. We should encourage Turkey not to be paranoid about the Kurds, including outside its borders. NATO forces should promote peace in the region. Since Turkey is currently in a strong position, it is protected by NATO, but rather than messing around with the Swedish and Finnish issue, we should focus on Turkey and Turkey should be forced to negotiate with the Kurds. Opposition parties should be successful in the upcoming elections in Turkey. We want to see that Turkey gets rid of its dangerous situation and becomes a more stable country.

We know that the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran are meeting more frequently to discuss foreign policy issues. We hope that we can soon see Turkey acting within the framework of NATO rules. Also, we must see that Iran and Russia are causing serious problems in the region. These countries are also undermining democracy, which has already been damaged by Turkey. These forces must be reconciliatory and peaceful in order to enjoy human rights and a democratic system in the region. We must continue to put pressure on Turkey to regulate its relations with NATO.

To conclude, as a British parliamentarian, what would you like to say to the Kurdish people as the Turkish chemical attacks are still continuing?

Our Parliament and the House of Lords show empathy towards what has happened to the Kurdish people and are very concerned. At the same time, we know that geopolitical games in the region do harm to the people. The Kurds have been left alone once again and are in danger. We stand by the peoples of Kurdistan in solidarity. We must collect as much evidence as possible concerning chemical weapons crimes and we must be able to deliver this evidence to relevant institutions. We need to make contact not only with the press, but also with the right institutions. We will continue to raise our voice over this issue. We know that you are going through very difficult times, but you will get through these, too. Our prayers and support are with you.