Turkey will be represented at highest level at Geneva

Turkish Presidential spokesman says that Turkey will be represented at highest level at Geneva talks

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin addresses media during a press conference at the Turkish Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on January 27, 2016.

Updated Jan 29, 2016

Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday that Turkey will be represented at Geneva talks at the highest level, highlighting that Ankara has no issues with the Syrian Kurds.

Speaking at a press briefing in Ankara, Kalin talked about Ankara's objection to the inclusion of PKK's Syrian extension PYD at the UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks in Geneva, which is scheduled for Friday.

"It is unacceptable for a group that has not sided with the Syrian opposition, but kept shady and dirty ties with the [Assad] regime and the PKK up to now, to be there to represent Syrian Kurds," he said.

Kalin also noted that the opposition groups who will attend the Geneva negotiations were already determined during the Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh in December, and that all the related parties have been announced and invited.

"But it is against the essence of the negotiations and all the efforts until now to try to include the PYD in the Geneva talks with a last minute move," he added.

During an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described Syrian Kurds attendance at the negotiation table as a "necessity,” but said those treating the PYD as a legitimate partner "do not live in the reality of the region."

Turkey has repeatedly accused the PYD of cooperating with the Syrian regime forces of Bashar al Assad.

The five-year civil war in Syria has seen more than 250,000 people killed and led to more than 10.5 million to flee from their homes, according to the UN.

“The calls should be addressed to PKK”

Turkish Presidential spokesman also touched upon the calls for Turkey to stop its anti-terror operations in the country's southeast directed at the terrorist organisation PKK.

Regarding the calls, Kalin stated "The occasional calls made to us like 'put an end to clashes and operations' should be addressed to the terrorist organisation to lay down their arms."

Turkish security forces have been conducting anti-terror operations against the PKK, mainly in the provinces of Diyarbakir and Sirnak during ongoing curfews, with more than 700 terrorists killed since early Dec. 2015 according to the Turkish Army.

Kalin was referring to international calls and a manifesto by a group of Turkish academics calling for the Turkish government to cease operations in the southeast.

"We also have a call for them: Call upon the terrorist organisation and its affiliates to disarm rather than making calls to us regarding our efforts to maintain the public order," he said.

"Terror has no ethnic, religious or ideological basis"

Turkish Presidential spokesman also assured that the anti-terror fight was not waged against the country's Kurdish citizens and stressed that the terrorist PKK was not their "representative."

"Any counter claim is far from the truth as it obviously means equating the terrorist organisation to the Kurdish people if you say it represents the Kurds," he said.

"It can be nothing but propaganda by the terrorist organisation to showcase itself as the protector and representative of our Kurdish citizens," he added.

Kalin emphasized that Turkey will never give credit to "terror eulogies like DAESH terror is an atrocity but PKK terror is a resistance."

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

"Terror is terror, it has no ethnic, religious or ideological basis. We must refuse all kinds of terror with the same perspective," he said. He added that the future of the solution process regarding the Kurdish issue, was bound to the PKK laying down arms "completely and unconditionally."

What is commonly known in Turkey as the solution process began in 2013 and was aimed at ending the 30-year conflict between Turkey and the PKK but has been put on hold after renewed violence broke out last year.

TRTWorld, AA