Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey will never allow for establishment of a state in Syria’s northern part, south of Turkey, no matter what it costs for the country.
Erdogan’s remarks came during an iftar programme organised by the Turkish Red Crescent, largest humanitarian organisation in Turkey, as a part of holy fasting month of Ramadan for Muslim society.
Condemning the deadly Kobane attack on Syria’s Kobane on Thursday by ISIS militants, killing at least 35 with more than 130 other wounded, Erdogan criticised both internal and international claims that Turkey let ISIS militants pass from its border and conducted the Kobane attack.
"We most strongly curse the attack that targeted innocent civilians in Ayn al Arab," said President Erdogan.
"I want to clearly and transparently express it again: no one has the right to align Turkey with terrorism," Erdogan said, rejecting Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) “baseless” claims.
The HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag had accused the Turkish government of supporting ISIS militants and claimed that the ISIS militants that carried out the bombing passed through Turkey’s borders.
A few hours later, the military wing of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD), People’s Protection Units (YPG) spokesman Redur Halil said the ISIS militants did not enter Kobane from Turkish border gate in north, rather the militants carrying out car bombings entered the city through its south and the west of Syria.
Reminding the first ISIS offensive in Kobane almost six months ago, Erdogan said Turkey already witnessed a similar effort of malicious groups who wanted to use the offensive as an excuse to provoke an incident in the country.
The protests, now being called as the Oct. 6-7 incidents came after the HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas’ call for street protests, triggered bloody attacks by the youth arm of the outlawed PKK on conservative Kurdish groups, primarily the Kurdish Free Cause Party (Huda-Par).
The attacks left more than 40 people dead around the country, mostly in the southeastern part, a region mostly populated by Kurdish people, of whom the HDP claims to advocate rights.
“The same incidents are taking place in Kobane now and the same groups are trying to cause a panic in Turkey with the same methods,” Erdogan said during his speech.
“I’m yelling to the ones who call Turkey terrorist without embarrassment,” said Erdogan.
“Where do you get the right to say terrorist for a country which has been hosting people who flee Kobane,” asked the Turkish president.
YPG expansion in northern Syria
Turkish President Erdogan’s criticism on establishing a state in northern Syria came after the expansion of the YPG in the region in recent weeks.
The capture of the northern Syrian district of Tal Abyad by the forces of the YPG has been perceived as part of an attempt to establish a permanent Kurdish government in northern Syria.
Tal Abyad was previously held by ISIS from early 2014 and functioned as the centre of a major smuggling route to the group’s stronghold of Raqqa. Since the beginning of June 2015 the YPG had been carrying out operations with the help of US-led coalition air strikes against ISIS in Tal Abyad.
The Kurdish forces took control of the city without strong resistance from ISIS and pushed out its Arab and Turkmen population to Turkey’s border.
The Kurdish fighters have reportedly been blocking the return of the Arabs and Turkmen, but they claim to be merely clearing explosive devices planted by ISIS around Tal Abyad.