Turkish FM calls Ezidi crisis 'humanitarian tragedy'

Photo: Turkish FM calls Ezidi crisis 'humanitarian tragedy' / Arab World

Humanitarian aid boxes from Turkey have been dropped by Iraqi helicopters to members of the Ezidi religious minority who have fled to the Sinjar mountains in northwestern Iraq to escape attacks from Islamic State militants Anadolu Agency reported

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking on television on Thursday, described Islamic State attacks on the Ezidi community as a "humanitarian tragedy."

Ezidis, a minority group in Iraq which has suffered numerous attacks because of their religion, have now been targeted by Islamic State - formerly known as ISIL - which call them 'devil-worshipers.'

Ezidis have fled from Sinjar, the traditional home of the minority community near the city of Mosul, and are now hiding in mountains in fear of being massacred by IS militants.

Davutoglu said humanitarian aid boxes from Turkey have been dropped by Iraqi helicopters.

"Turkey is the only county carrying out humanitarian relief operations in Iraq," he said, refuting claims that Turkey was discriminating between certain ethnic groups and sects or had refused to allow fleeing Ezidi people access into Turkey.

"There is not a single person - neither Ezidi, Christian, Turkmen or Kurd - waiting to cross into Turkey," he added.

Turkish hostages in Iraq

Speaking about the 49 Turkish citizens seized by IS in Mosul two months ago, Davutoglu said the media should not report provocative and speculative news stories that would endanger the lives of the consulate staff, whose fate remains uncertain.

He also lashed out at Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party for submitting a censure motion against him, accusing Davutoglu of contradictory statements over the hostage crisis.

The CHP has repeatedly criticized the ruling AK Party government for its foreign policies, claiming that Turkey has become isolated from the world.

"In such a [critical] time submitting a censure motion regarding the hostages and discussing the most sensitive documents does not suit political ethics," Davutoglu said.

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