Turkey's defence minister Hulusi Akar says US must fix "as soon as possible" the policy of slapping bounties on PKK terrorists and simultaneously arming YPG, the group's Syrian branch.
A US decision to put multi-million dollar bounties on the heads of three key PKK terrorists was a "positive but belated" step, Turkey's defence minister said on Wednesday, but asked US to take the same stance against PKK's Syrian offshoot – YPG.
"I would like to underline that this decision and step of the US, of our American friends and our allies, was a positive, but belated one," Hulusi Akar said during his visit to Sudan's Suakin Island on the west coast of the Red Sea.
But, he said, "It is impossible for us to accept that on one hand, the US is sending weapons and ammunition to the YPG and on the other hand, they are offering rewards for information on senior members of the PKK. We expect this to be fixed as soon as possible."
YPG no different from PKK
Akar's remarks came a day after the US State Department put a bounty on three key PKK terrorists.
Under the Rewards for Justice program, people who give information on the identification or location of PKK terrorists Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik, and Duran Kalkan are eligible for rewards of $3-5 million.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK –– listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU –– has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including those of women and children.
The YPG is its Syrian branch.
Akar said US shouldn't treat PKK and YPG terror groups differently.
"Because the YPG is a terrorist organisation that has no difference from the PKK," he said. added.
Kalin says PKK and YPG single entity
Meanwhile, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday the main problem is that the US does not define the YPG and the PYD as a terrorist organisations.
"Until a year ago, they were defined as the Syrian branch of the PKK in their intelligence and strategic reports. This information had been on their website until recently," he said.
"It's futile to try to define them as anything other than a terrorist organisation. They (US) will never convince us of that."