Syrian Kurds: 17 Indonesians who escaped Daesh leave Syria

The flag used by Daesh features a banner reading: 'There is no God but Allah, Mohammad is the messenger of Allah'. (File photo via REUTERS)
Updated 10 August 2017
0

Syrian Kurds: 17 Indonesians who escaped Daesh leave Syria

BEIRUT: A group of 17 Indonesians who had joined the Daesh group in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa have been handed over to representatives of their country and have left Syria, a local Kurdish official and a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
According to the official, Omar Alloush, the Indonesian nationals included men, women and children. They were handed over on Tuesday at a Syria-Iraq border crossing. They had been asking to be sent back home, he said.
Spokeswoman Nisreen Abdullah from the Women’s Protection Units also confirmed the handover. The identities of the Indonesians were not immediately available and Iraqi officials could not confirm the report.
Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the director of Indonesian citizen protection at the country’s foreign ministry, said there has been “communication between the Indonesian side with various parties that control the territory of Syria” including with the North Syrian Kurdish Authority linked to the 17 Indonesians.
He said the Indonesian government in its initial discussions obtained information that the group were not fighters, some had spent most of their time in Syria in Daesh jails or other isolated conditions, and had fled Raqqa with the help of a third party on June 10.
“Our communication with these parties is more directed to the humanitarian situation,” Iqbal said, noting the family includes teenagers and three young children. “The security conditions in the area are so complex that the handling process cannot be done easily,” he said.
Last month, an Associated Press team in Raqqa met with members of an Indonesian family of 17 and reported on their journey two years ago from Jakarta to Raqqa and their initial desire to live in the Daesh group’s self-proclaimed capital.
They also told the AP of how their dreams were crushed in the face of Daesh brutality and terror and how different the reality of life under Daesh was from the utopian dream of an Islamic society they had pursued.
The AP met the women and children at a camp for the displaced run by the Kurdish forces just north of Raqqa, after they had managed to escape.
The AP also interviewed a male relative at a security center run by Kurdish forces in Kobani.


Turkish police arrest ruling party member, eight others after opposition chief attack

Updated 22 April 2019
0

Turkish police arrest ruling party member, eight others after opposition chief attack

  • Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was assaulted on Sunday as he attended a funeral in Ankara
  • A video of the attack showed the CHP leader being mobbed and punched

ISTANBUL: Turkish police on Monday arrested nine people, including a member of the ruling AKP party, after a mob attack on opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu that sparked widespread criticism.
Kilicdaroglu, 70, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was assaulted on Sunday in a crowd as he attended a funeral in Ankara for a soldier killed fighting Kurdish militants in the southeast.
The attack came days after the opposition CHP won Ankara and Istanbul from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP in March 31 local elections, seen as a major setback for the ruling party after a decade-and-a-half in power.
A video of Sunday’s attack showed the CHP leader being mobbed and punched, then chanting crowds surrounded a house where he was taken for his protection. The images went viral on social media.
CHP leaders blamed Erdogan’s AKP for provoking the attack and demanded those detained be held accountable. They called for the interior minister to resign over the incident.
“This is not an ordinary attack, this is not an ordinary provocation. This is planned,” CHP Istanbul chief Canan Kaftancioglu told several thousands of supporters at a rally from the top of a bus.
The crowds chanted slogans “Shoulder to shoulder against Fascism,” and waved banners reading: “Are you so scared by the CHP’s success?” in reference to the AKP’s loss of Istanbul and Ankara.
During campaigning for the local polls, Erdogan often accused Kilicdaroglu and the CHP of backing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and showed videos of the opposition leader at his rallies.
Kilicdaroglu was not badly injured in the assault.
The chief suspect in Sunday’s attack, identified only by his initials O.S., was arrested in Sivrihisar in central Anatolia and was being taken to Ankara, private NTV television reported.
The AKP later identified him as Osman Sarigun and said he was a party member who would face expulsion.
“AKP is against any form of violence... There is no room for violence in democratic politics,” AKP spokesman Omer Celik said on Twitter.
Eight other people have also been detained, officials said.
Speaking to AFP, the CHP’s Kaftancioglu welcomed the move to expel the suspect but said the problem was about the polarization of Turkish society.
“The situation will not change with one person’s dismissal unless the mentality encouraging attackers by polarizing society changes,” she said.
Erdogan had presented the local elections as a matter of national survival. He campaigned heavily even though he was not running in the election himself.
For his supporters, Erdogan is the strong leader Turkey needs to deal with its security threats and is a voice for more religiously conservative Turks.
Critics say Erdogan has stoked divisions by branding foes as enemies of the state and has undermined the rule of law with a broad crackdown on dissent.
The AKP has won every election since coming to power 17 years ago, but voters appeared to punish the party in major cities in this ballot as the economy slid into recession after a currency crisis last year.
Electoral authorities have given the CHP candidates their mandates for the Istanbul and Ankara mayor posts, but Erdogan’s AKP is seeking a re-run of the Istanbul vote, citing irregularities.
The CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu won the Istanbul race by a very tight margin after two weeks of recounts.
The CHP held Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu responsible for “provocation” after he said last year he had ordered governors not to allow CHP members to join soldiers’ funerals.
Soylu ruled out any “outside provocation” in the incident, and said the main culprit was a relative of the dead soldier.