A Swiss MP has accused the Turkish government of passing off olive oil plundered from Syria as Turkish in order to sell it in European Union countries, including Spain.
Bernhard Guhl of Switzerland’s Conservative Democratic Party has alerted the Swiss government to the possibility of olive oil seized as loot from the conflict in Syria entering the European Union single market falsely labelled as Turkish, with the aim of financing militias backed by Ankara.
“In Turkish-occupied Afrin, the olive groves are being pillaged by both Turkish forces and the militias they support. The olives they steal have been sold to Spain, and the sale will continue,” Mr Guhl claimed.
He made the claims in a motion presented before Switzerland’s national parliament in which he asked what action was being taken to investigate the trade and revenues potentially deriving from it.
The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army forces took the city of Afrin in northern Syria, south of the Turkish border, from Kurdish militias in March 2018.
According to Spanish online newspaper Público, the Turkish government is using a number of intermediary companies to export olive oil seized from former Kurdish-held areas into Spain.