Davutoglu says Turkey’s problem is with PYD, not Syria’s Kurds

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu indicates that Turkey has no problems with Syrian Kurds and supports their representation in Geneva peace talks, which should not include PKK’s Syrian wing PYD

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu talks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Jan. 25, 2016.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stated that Syrian Kurds need to be a part of the peace process in order to develop a comprehensive plan to end the civil war in Syria, however, Turkey firmly stands against the participation of PYD in the Geneva talks, on the opposition ranks.

"Without Syrian Kurds, the table cannot be complete. What we are against is YPG," Davutoglu told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday, referring to the armed wing of PYD which Turkey considers the PKK’s Syrian extension.

PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU, and the US.

Political forces who treat PYD as a legitimate interlocutor "do not live in the reality of the region [northern Syria]” where PYD forces have been oppressing people including Kurds, if they hold a different opinion other than the group, Davutoglu has said.  

“Nobody can convince us that [PYD] is for peace," he declared.

In addition, “If the PYD wants to sit at the [Geneva] peace table, it should better fit into the ranks of the [Syrian] regime. Collaboration with a regime which conducts massacres against its own people should have a result like that,” the Turkish leader vowed during his party’s group meeting, at parliament on Tuesday.

“I express that Turkey will be sided with Syria,” Davutoglu stressed.

He also indicated that the Syrian conflict could not be resolved as long as the regime leader, Bashar al Assad, holds power in the country, adding that his military forces are "not winning" at all.

The prime minister's remarks came ahead of the new Syria peace talks set to begin on Friday in Geneva.

Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition had been due to start in Geneva on Monday, but it was delayed partly because of a dispute over who will be part of the opposition delegation.

Meanwhile, Russia has been lobbying for PYD to be included on the list of opposition participant groups in the Geneva talks.

Davutoglu has also touched upon the Russian intervention in Syria, saying that it is affecting the conflict "in a very negative manner, in fact, occupying Syria."

"Like others [Russia] can contribute to the peace process," because the country is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, he said.

"But we expect Russia to respect Syrian civilians and ... not to push Syrian civilians towards Turkish border," he pointed out.

He said that 90 percent of Russian air strikes in Syria had so far targeted civilians and moderate opposition groups, including schools and hospitals.

"We know these, because all those who were injured by [those] Russian bombardments are escaping to Turkey," he recounted, stating that "Only 10 percent of Russian air strikes are against DAESH.”

Over 1,000 civilians have been killed by Russian air strikes that began on Sept. 30, to prop up the regime forces, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.

More than 260,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war started in 2011 between the Assad regime and opposition forces, following the "Arab Spring" movement that swept a number of countries in the Middle-East and North Africa.

In addition, 6.7 million are displaced internally while at least 5 million have fled the country to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

Turkey hosts nearly 2.5 million Syrian refugees, the most in the world, according to registration records of the United Nations, and has spent more than a record of $8 billion of its own resources on the refugees.

TRTWorld, AA