Turkish FM says reliance on PKK-affiliate PYD is 'weakness'

Turkish FM Cavusoglu condemns use of PYD in fight against DAESH, calling this to be ‘weakness’

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (C) and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (not seen) hold a joint press conference after an inter-delegation meeting at Foreign Ministry building in Ankara, Turkey on February 22, 2016.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday criticised the international anti-DAESH coalition’s reliance on the PYD to provide ground forces against DAESH in Syria.

Turkish FM said it showed “weakness and desperation to count on another terror group in the fight against DAESH”.

Turkey considers the PYD and its armed wing the YPG to be the Syrian extension of the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, US, and EU. 

Turkey has accused the PYD and YPG of being on side of the Assad regime as well as being behind last week’s car bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 people.

However, while Turkey has shelled PYD positions, the US-led alliance has supported the group in Syria, with the US describing it as a “reliable partner” in the fight against DAESH.

“It is indeed a huge mistake,” Cavusoglu said in a news conference in Ankara. “A drowning man should not clutch at a straw because that straw would only drown him.

“If all these countries are depending on another terrorist group to fight a terrorist organisation, this is just an indicator of the situation in Syria. We must promptly put an end to this mistake,” he added.

Last week, Cavusoglu indicated the US position on the PYD was shifting. He said US Secretary of State John Kerry had referred to the group as “untrustworthy” in a recent telephone call.

Speaking Monday, he expressed the hope that all sections of the US government would “see the truth” about the PYD.

Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK. Cavusoglu said Turkey has shared evidence with the US on PKK members in key positions of the PYD.

“The latest information we shared proves that they are behind the heinous terror attack in Ankara,” he said.

“This information was provided in person by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.”

The day after the bombing, which targeted military buses in Ankara, Davutoglu said the attack had been conducted jointly by an YPG member with PKK support. The US has not commented on YPG responsibility for the attack.

TRTWorld, AA