Salih Muslim, the co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) which is considered by Turkey as the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK, published a statement asking the US and France to prevent Turkey’s possible armed interference with Syria.
PYD criticised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s words hinting a military intervention in Syria, saying that Turkey’s intervention would deeply affect the region.
“Turkey’s military intervention in Rojava [northeastern Syria] will cause the political issues of Syria and the Middle East to become even more complicated. We want from the great powers, especially from the USA and France which participate in NATO with Turkey, to prevent Turkey’s interference to Rojava and any certain part of Syria,” the PYD said.
Erdogan spoke on Friday regarding the issue saying that Turkey would never allow the establishment of a state in Syria’s northern part, no matter what it costs for the country.
"We will never allow the establishment of a state in Syria's north and our south. We will continue our struggle in this regard no matter what it costs," Erdogan said during an iftar meal in Istanbul.
PYD mentioned in its statement that their aim is not to establish an independent state in Syria, but that their autonomy must be improved.
“We don’t have an aim to establish an independent state. Turkish President Erdogan’s words are not suitable. The truth is that with improving the Democratic Autonomous Government, we are trying to be a part of the solution in the Syrian chaos,” the statement continued.
In November 2013, the PYD announced three autonomous areas or “cantons” which are Afrin, Jazira and Kobane from west to the east following the withdrawal of Syrian regime forces from mostly Kurdish inhabited areas such as Afrin, Kobane, and Amuda where the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militant wing of the PYD, took control in July 2012 in the course of the Syrian civil war.
Muslim denied in an interview with the BBC on July 2013 that the PYD had any operational links to the PKK and also rejected having ties with the Bashar al Assad regime, saying that he had been imprisoned by the regime several times since 2003.
Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which was founded in 1974 by Abdullah Ocalan - the currently imprisoned leader of the militant organisation - and his supporters.
Armed clashes and acts of violence have continued on and off for more than 30 years, and claimed over 40,000 lives.