Kobane: MEPs call on Turkey to do more to help Syrian city under threat by IS 

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IS assault on Kobani ©BELGAIMAGE/Eyevine/H. Sari Xinhua  

Turkey should do more to help Kurds fight off the IS threat in Kobane, many MEPs said in a debate on the besieged Syrian city on 22 October. They also condemned the violence by IS and said more should be done to tackle the terrorist group and help its victims. Some also raised the potential threat of chemical weapons and said a wider strategy was needed for the Middle East.

Benedetto Della Vedova, standing in for Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, said Kobane had become the symbol of the rule of terror by ISIS. “All that is unacceptable for the European Union and its partners. The time has come to demonstrate how resolute we are to contain and defeat ISIS.”


Arnaud Danjean (EPP, France) pointed out that as a candidate country for the EU, Turkey had an obligation to have a foreign policy in line with that of the EU: "This is absolutely not the case today and I find that inadmissible." He also commented on Turkey being a Nato member: "When we observe Turkey's attitude on Kobane or ISIS, it raises many questions."


Victor Boştinaru (S&D, Romania) said Turkey as a candidate to the EU and as a Nato member should show readiness to cooperate and to coordinate with EU and Nato. “This is not the case right now,” he said, adding  “In the last days Turkey has finally taken some steps forward and this should be noticed by the European Parliament.”


Charles Tannock (ECR, UK): “Credible reports claim ISIS fighters have captured chemical weapons. It is one of the dire consequences of danger posed by the evil threat of ISIS. Ultimately it must be totally defeated.”


"The moment has come to indeed adopt a policy with regard to IS," said Fernando Maura (ALDE, Spain). He also added that it's time "to exert a diplomatic pressure on Ankara so that it can reconsider its particular policies in the northern part of Syria".


Marie-Christine Vergiat, (GUE/NGL, France) called on Turkey to restart the peace process with PKK and open its borders for all Kurdish fighters: “The Kurds, and not just the peshmergas, should be allowed to cross the border, and the only place now where that is possible is in Turkey.”


Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA, Germany) said: "The EU needs a broad-ranging regional strategy and that would involve strengthening the Iraqi government and also carrying on the Geneva talks under the UN and also including the neighbours in the region, which includes Iran.”


Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD, Italy) stressed the horrible suffering the Kobane people were going through and said that international community had been looking away. It had been too passive towards this humanitarian disaster and it would be hypocritical to deny it.


Konstantinos Papadakis, a non-attached member from Greece, said: “Today NATO, the EU, US and allies have used all of this as a veil to cover up the real issues – to use them as pretext in order to attack these areas, and take over their precious resources.”