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Rudaw

Syria

Turkey promises protection for Syrian Kurds not linked to PKK

By Rudaw 14/1/2019
A member of the Raqqa Civil Council's security forces inspects motorcycle riders at a checkpoint in the former ISIS stronghold on October 16, 2018. File photo: Delil Souleiman | AFp
A member of the Raqqa Civil Council's security forces inspects motorcycle riders at a checkpoint in the former ISIS stronghold on October 16, 2018. File photo: Delil Souleiman | AFp
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — In a direct rebuke to US President Donald Trump's tweets calling for Syrian Kurds and Turkey to get along, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin called equating Syrian Kurds with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) a "fatal mistake."

"Mr @realDonaldTrump It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the US terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG," he tweeted early Monday.

 

Kalin picked up on the lack of nuance in Trump's pair of tweets on Sunday when he said the United States "will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds."

 

"Turkey fights against terrorists, not Kurds. We will protect Kurds and other Syrians against all terrorist threats," added Kalin.

 

Kalin reiterated Ankara's stance that "there is no difference" between the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, their political arm the Democratic Union Party, ISIS, and the PKK. 

 

 

And to that end, Washington is being duplicitous because Ankara considers the YPG to be the Syrian extension of the PKK, argued Kalin.

 

The YPG, although ideologically inspired by PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, denies any organic or command structure links to the PKK which is based in the Qandil Mountains of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It recently also asked Ankara to provide proof of the link.

 

"Terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda," wrote Kalin.

 

Kalin did not fire back at Trump's "20 mile safe zone" that followed economic devastation to Turkey — an apparent effort to isolate the already fledgling economy.

 

The diplomatic spat comes as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a Middle East tour. Noticeably absent from his itinerary is a stop in Turkey. 

 

Last week, Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly was snubbed a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

 

Analysts have faulted Trump's snap Twitter diplomacy for hamstringing the efforts of Bolton, Pompeo, and Ambassador James Jeffrey — the president's special envoy to the international anti-ISIS coalition and the State Department's envoy for Syria engagement.

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Frenchman | 14/1/2019
Who is terrorist ? helping Hamas and ISIS , and jail journalists? , or fighting for freedom and independant ? if it was not for EU you would commit another genocide ...you erDog wake up , the Kurd have no choice they have to fight for their freedom and their flag ....that is not a definition of a terrorist ...
USA | 14/1/2019
anyone who has a cool head , will see Turkey is helping Hamas and ISIS ..it is not YPG , it is Turkey that is a terrorist state
Jew | 14/1/2019
Can somebody please help me to understand , why people like the Kurds sacrifice everything to fight the most vicious group ISIS , is called terrorist , while Turkey helping Hamas and ISIS and muslim brotherhood in Egypt .is called democracy and NATO ally ...... what the Hell?
Turkman | 14/1/2019
Who is really a terrorist ? Turkey or YPG ? do you have to be genius to know who is helping ISIS? Turkey of course
Nicko | 14/1/2019
I Think it is time for turks to understand, nobody trust them in this case, and nobody want them in Rojava. Even if US would let them in Russia wouldn't. So I don't understand why they spent so much energy on this. Also, even if I don't like PKK, the worst terrorists are Thos that Turkey Support. Before they say this to US they have to Think about who they support. Their friends in Syria are all islamist terrorists, a banch of paid gangs that have zero respect for democracy and human rights. They really hate Kurds from the bottom of their heart.
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