Ceasefire deal not binding Turkey if security threatened

Turkish PM Davutoglu says ceasefire deal proposed in Syria is not binding Turkey if national security is threatened

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses journalists in Ankara, Turkey February 20, 2016.

Updated Feb 26, 2016

A proposed ceasefire in Syria will not be binding Turkey if the country's security is threatened, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday, adding Ankara would take "necessary measures" against PKK-affiliate YPG and DAESH if necessary.

Speaking during a press conference in the central Anatolian province of Konya, the Turkish Prime Minister said, "This ceasefire is valid for warring sides in Syria. If one of those warring sides starts to threaten Turkey’s security, this ceasefire is not going to bind us."

"We will not ask permission from anyone to do whatever is necessary when it comes to Turkey’s security. For this reason, the PKK and PYD should know this: Do not think for a second that Turkey will not be able to do anything since there is a ceasefire. Do not attempt to continue your aggressions towards Turkey," he continued.

"Ankara is the only place that decides on actions relating to Turkey's security."

On Monday, the US and Russia have agreed on a draft to call for a cessation of hostilities between Assad regime forces and opposition groups in Syria to begin on Feb. 27, excluding DAESH and Al Qaeda linked Nusra Front.

Davutoglu also emphasised that for Turkey, there is no difference between terrorist organisations in Syria.

"For us, YPG is a terrorist organisation just like DAESH and the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front. However, there is no reference as such for YPG in Syrian ceasefire deal. There should have been one. But, there was not,” Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu’s remarks came one day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that PKK-affiliate PYD and its armed wing YPG should be excluded from Syria cessation of hostilities deal, just like DAESH and the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front.

During his meeting with local officials in Ankara, Erdogan said "If DAESH and Al Nusra Front are kept outside the ceasefire, then the PYD-YPG must similarly be excluded from the cessation deal for it is a terrorist group just as they are.”

Ankara considers the PYD as the Syrian extension of the PKK terrorist organisation. The YPG is the militant wing of PYD.

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

Turkish state accused PKK and its Syrian affiliate YPG of jointly carrying out deadly attacks in Ankara.

The explosion in Turkish capital killed 29 people and wounded 81 others when the suicide bomber attacked a military convoy that was stopped at a traffic light on Feb. 17.

A PKK-affiliated terrorist group TAK has claimed responsibility for the Ankara attack on Feb. 19, saying that it would continue its attacks.

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu said that the TAK had claimed the attack as a "proxy" to shield the YPG.

"TAK is not any separate terrorist organisation, it is a branch of the PKK as well as the YPG. The fact that TAK claimed responsibility for the attack doesn’t eliminate the YPG’s connection to that," he emphasised.

TRTWorld, Reuters