CAMPAIGNERS hit out yesterday at “shameful” attempts to link Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with support for terrorism following the Besiktas bombings in Turkey.
The claims were made in a Times article over the weekend which said Mr Corbyn’s support for the British-based Peace in Kurdistan campaign amounted to support for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — deemed a terrorist organisation by Britain, the US and EU.
The article said that Peace in Kurdistan backs delisting the PKK as a terrorist organisation and cited its support for the Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan campaign. It also linked the group to the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a splinter organisation that claimed responsibility for the bombings on December 10 killed 46 people and injured 166.
But the campaign — established in 1994 by a group of people including playwright Harold Pinter, actor Julie Christie and Lord Avebury — has long campaigned for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey and elsewhere.
A Peace in Kurdistan spokeswoman was not surprised by the attacks: “This is typical of those who wish to delegitimise and undermine voices of opposition to an increasingly dictatorial regime in Turkey.
“This is a serious issue. Voices of dissent are being silenced across Turkey with opposition MPs thrown in prison, newspapers and TV stations being closed down and a third of the world’s jailed journalists in Turkish prisons.
“False links to terrorism are a common tactic to try to delegitimise opposition. In Turkey many are accused of support for PKK or the Fethullah terrorist organisation, often both. It is a shame the Times is joining in and acting as Erdogan’s mouthpiece.”
A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party support a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Turkey and Jeremy is glad to work with those who share that goal.”