Turkey concerned over YPG-led region near its border

Presidential spokesman says Turkey will not tolerate establishment of autonomous region near its Syrian border led by PKK-affiliated forces

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin gives a speech during a press briefing on Feb. 26 in Ankara.

Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Friday that Ankara is concerned with the establishment of an autonomous enclave by PKK-affiliated groups, namely YPG and PYD, near its Syrian border.

“Our problem is not with Syrian Kurds, it is with YPG. Our problem has been concerned with the creation of a state under the guidance of the PKK,” Kalin said during a regular press briefing in Ankara on Friday.

YPG is the militant wing of the PYD which Turkey considers as the Syrian extension of the PKK and a terrorist group though the US administration regards the group as an ally in the fight against DAESH. This has recently led to growing tension between Ankara and Washington over policy in northern Syria.

Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its eastern and southeastern regions by the PKK which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, NATO, and the EU.

“Those who refuse to see the connections between PKK and YPG have other plans. This connection has been ascertained in their intelligence reports,” he stressed.  

“Disregarding this relationship in the name of fighting against DAESH” could not be accepted by Turkey," said the spokesman.  

“It is also reason of concern for us that PYD and YPG openly joined the fronts of Syrian regime forces."

He also said, “As long as the security threats against Turkey continue, Turkey will apply the engagement rules. We always negotiate on all kinds of issues with our allies, except for our national security.” 

More than 300 security officers have died in PKK terror attacks in Turkey since the group’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two-and-a-half-year-long ceasefire with the government on July 11 and threatened Turkey with attacks.

Most recently, a terror attack targeted military vehicles carrying personnel working for the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in Turkey’s capital Ankara, killing at least 29 people and wounding 81 on Feb. 17.

The Turkish state announced that the PKK and its Syrian affiliate PYD is behind the Ankara attack.

TRTWorld and agencies