Turkey's southeastern Kurdish city of Cizire under a military curfew. Photo: AA.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- In the latest exchange of condemnations between Ankara and Moscow, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has taken a jab at its Russian counterpart for suggesting that Turkey should resolve the conflict with the Kurds through peaceful means.
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanju Bilgic, said that Moscow’s lectures amounted to dark humor.
"For a country whose record on democracy, the rule of law, and human rights is very well known by everyone, which has caused indignation with its acts in neighboring countries such as Ukraine and Georgia and by violating international law, which has provided political and military support to crimes against humanity by the bloody-handed dictator in Syria, and which actively launched campaigns leading to the death of hundreds of civilians, giving a human rights lecture to others is only an example of dark humour." Bilgic told reporters.
The Russian foreign ministry issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that Ankara should "take the necessary steps to ensure the cessation of violence as soon as possible and resume the peace settlement process that was interrupted in July 2015."
The Turkish army has been locked in weeks of intense fighting with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Diyarbakir and other nearby towns for more than a month where 100 people are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced.
"We are watching with concern the escalation of violence in southeastern Turkey caused by the ongoing military operation of the Turkish authorities in the Kurdish-populated provinces of the country. Human rights organizations have reported numerous casualties among the civilian population, including women and children," it added.
These remarks come amid a backdrop of soured relations between Ankara and Moscow following the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey near its border with Syria.