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Rudaw

Interview

Syrian Kurds open to dialogue with Turkish nation: YPG spokesperson

By Rudaw 22/11/2018
Spokesperson of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Nuri Mahmud. Photo: Rudaw
Spokesperson of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Nuri Mahmud. Photo: Rudaw
The Kurdish armed forces in northern Syria are ready to open dialogue with Turkey to resolve their issues, said spokesperson of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Nuri Mahmud.

“We are ready to resolve the issues through dialogue with the nation and state of Turkey,” Mahmud said in an interview from Qamishli on Thursday with Rudaw’s Dilbixwin Dara.

“What the state authorities do is not the stance of the Turkish nation, but just a certain group,” he added, arguing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have a different agenda than the people of Turkey. 

Erdogan’s government is trying to break international support for the Kurds in northern Syria, he claimed. 

The United States has been struggling to keep a fine balance between the demands of its NATO ally Turkey, which considers the YPG a terror group, and its Kurdish allies in the war against ISIS. 

The latest measure being taken by Washington is to establish observation posts to monitor the border between Syria and Turkey. 



Rudaw: Turkey says they will continue their roadmap and attack east of the Euphrates River. What do the Americans say about that?

Nuri Mahmud: Even during our fights against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham, they were attacking the northern Syria region, Kobane and Sare Kani. Now, we see after the defeat of these groups or the end of these proxy wars, the Turkish army is using its army. It is not in the interest of the Turkish state to do that. Against the terrorists of the world, chauvinism and tyrannies, we resisted in northern Syria. We prevailed over the international terror and defeated ISIS in Kobane.

 

  [Turkish forces] always make an excuse to attack  



Together with the international coalition and the US, we worked to confront the terror group to prevent it from inflicting harm on Syria's territorial integrity. We have still been working together and coordinating. And on that basis, in areas where there are our forces and those of the coalition, we are undoubtedly continuing our strategy.

Did the US assure you that Turkey will not attack east of the Euphrates?

If the Americans promise us or not, we know what is the aim of the authority now ruling Turkey – the AKP and Erdogan. Erdogan knows as long as there is democracy and international unanimity supporting us, he will try to oppose it through national chauvinistic aims. Therefore they always make an excuse to attack. 

Of course, the presence of America and the coalition in the region proves, in our opinion and that of the international community, that the world is unanimous about northern Syria. Therefore, the Turkish authorities are working to harm that unanimity and we believe they made a big mistake. We see what they have done to Turkey's economy, decreasing it to the point of zero. Turkey's politics have gone bankrupt. That is why they are helping terror in Afrin, al-Bab and Jarabulus, Azaz, and also in Raqqa. They have always supported terror. 

But Turkey and the US are allies. Do you think they will give up this alliance to protect you in Syria?

Of course, we know that Turkey and America are allies. And we as the northern Syria region are neighbors with the nation and state of Turkey. The Turkish nation assisted us in Sare Kani and Kobane during the fight against ISIS. But a group who has controlled the Turkish nation and state are working to fulfill their own objectives. The AKP and the president of Turkey have jailed hundreds of

 

  What the state authorities do is not the stance of the Turkish nation  

thousands of politicians in Turkey. They have even put civil servants in jails... This is what we are talking about. 

What the state authorities do is not the stance of the Turkish nation, but just a certain group... The group's objective is to restore the 1.8 million square kilometre Ottoman era map... 

We are ready to resolve the issues through dialogue with the nation and state of Turkey.

Turkey considers you as part of the PKK. Are you a threat to the security of Turkey? Are you really the PKK of Syria as Turkey claims?

Turkey is even naming its politicians terrorists. Whoever speaks of democracy or writes something on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform against the state of Turkey to defend their dignity and their freedom of expression, the Turkish authorities accuse them of being terrorists... Turkey is manipulating European human rights and NATO for its chauvinistic objectives.

Turkey is attacking Rojava claiming it is fighting the PKK. Are you managing yourself or is Qandil in charge?

Undoubtedly, the nation of the northern Syria region administers itself. You as Rudaw are present in northern Syria. In all levels in villages, towns, and cities across northern Syria, it is local authorities taking decisions and their [institutions] are made up of

 

  In all villages, towns, and cities... it is local authorities taking decisions... That is why northern Syria became a success  

themselves.  That is why northern Syria became a success. 

All the groups in northern Syria, including Kurds, Arabs, and Christians, and Yezidis, have their own councils. There is Deir ez-Zor Civil Council, there is Manbij Civil Council, there is the Raqqa Civil Council. They are legitimate, making laws, protecting their judiciary systems, developing their systems in all fields, such as health. 

How could the PKK do these kinds of things? There is a reality on the ground in northern Syria and the public opinion must know that all the claims made by the Turkish state are lies.

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Disvc | 23/11/2018
YPG, PYD, PKK or whatever your name is, we dislike you and turkey, we who are old enough know you destroyed the creation of Rojhelat long before, you also sided with Iran and its shia elements. I really donty care for sunni or shia. I hate feminism and womans right, keep that shit in caves. Screw ataturk, erdogan or every mongol. You guys have a p mentality.
True Kurd | 23/11/2018
YPG/PKK must end fighting Turkey.Don't provide Turkey any pretext for its genocide war on Kurds.
Guest | 23/11/2018
This is exactly why I am glad to see my country, the United States, working with the YPG in Syria. Mr. Mahmud's responses in this article are exactly the same points I work to make known with officials who represent me in my government. Hopefully, government officials in Rojava are uniformly communicating this same information in writing to U.S. Congressmen, Senators, and President Trump. While officials of Congress may not be directly a part of the military, they do have a lot of influence over the U.S. participation as part of the coalition force in Syria. Those officials are human just like anyone else. Some are very knowledgeable about the circumstances in Syria. Some do not know much about it at all. But with more information and knowledge about what is happening, who the people are in Rojava, and how President Erdogan, along with his political party, has been conducting itself, the better decisions they can make. And their influence is critical. A significant amount of their time is dedicated to dealing directly with local issues affecting constituents in their districts, but they all vote on matters outside the U.S. as well. It is not just Assad that is a major threat to freedom in Syria, but President Erdogan is also a threat. Not only to individuals in Syria but also Turkey, and other regions he is trying to gain influence over. Rudaw, thank you very much for this article!
My Message | 23/11/2018
The best thing you can do is to not provoke Turkey.The PKK is endangering the very survival of the Kurdish nation.The U.S. must intervene and impose PEACE on the region .
YPG does not want peace | 24/11/2018
YPG could've worked with Turkey like KDP in Northern Iraq and be an ally but they chose the PKK terrorists.
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