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Kurdish Declaration of Autonomy in Syria Rejected by Turkey, Larger Opposition

By Rudaw 14/11/2013
Kurdistan and PYD flags sown together and waved on the streets of Kobane on the day of its liberation from Syrian forces in July 2012. Photo:
Kurdistan and PYD flags sown together and waved on the streets of Kobane on the day of its liberation from Syrian forces in July 2012. Photo:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey rejected a unilateral declaration of autonomy over Syria’s Kurdish lands by the country’s dominant Kurdish group, while the larger opposition representing the Kurds said the move was an “anti-revolution and supportive of” the Damascus regime.

On Tuesday, leaders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) announced an interim government over Syria’s Kurdish areas in the northeast.  It said Kurdish, Arab and Christian leaders had agreed to turn Syrian Kurdistan – or Rojava – into three semi-independent provincial areas, within a larger Kurdish autonomy in the northeast.

“Such autonomy cannot be declared unilaterally," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu on Turkey’s NTV.

PYD leader Salih Muslim has visited Turkey several times over the past months for talks with Turkish officials about the status of Kurds in a future Syria. 

PYD is the main Kurdish party in Syrian Kurdistan and its armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) seized control of most Kurdish areas after regime forces withdrew last year. Off-and-on since last summer the group has been in fierce battles with al-Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria’s  civil war.

In July 2013, when the PYD made a similar move to declare autonomy and suggested it would draw up a constitution and hold elections within six months, Turkey had rejected the move.

Ankara believes that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is behind the PYD’s move for autonomy, aiming to create greater rifts within the Syrian opposition and undermine Ankara’s efforts to unite the opposition.

“It’s not possible to accept any de facto declaration of an autonomous entity in Syria, and that could only lead to further crisis,” Davutoglu told journalist in Ankara on July 19.

The Kurdish National Council, which is composed of 15 Kurdish parties, said it was not aware of the PYD’s decision to declare an interim government. It said the move did not conform to Kurdish aspirations for an independent homeland.

“The move has nothing to do with the aspirations of the Syrian people seeking to build a united independent state,” said a statement on the opposition website. It called the PYD’s move “an anti-revolution and supportive of the Assad regime.”

The mainstream Syrian opposition announced its own interim government at the end of a three-day meeting in Istanbul.


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isa ali | 14/11/2013
What will happen if Iraqi Kurdistan supports YPG with armored vehicles, anti-tank rockets and better communication electronics after suicide bombs exploded in Rojava to civilians? Even if they are not able to do in front of the world, they can stop press YPG, open borders until this war is over and give them opportunity to have these military equipments in South Kurdistan by themselves. Then KDP can look after politics in Rojava. Apdullah Ocalan has lived about 15 years in Syria. Today, PYD is normal to be dominant party in Rojava. KDP, PYD, GORAN, and PUK are simply political gains, we have good opposition parties for better improvement in Kurdistan but being opposite in a family is not a enemy. Just brothers thinks different, that's all. So, please we should not choice TURKS for our interest, they are not even peaceful neighbour. They are against Kurds and Kurdistan. Let's not to fall in this trap.
Darin | 14/11/2013
Who is Turkey to reject or not? Turkey is a poor third World country has been dependent on the British then and USA now politically, economically and military. If the mighty USA says to Turks shut up they will immediately shut their filthy mouth up like when their troops went a cross the boarder of South Kurdistan 2008 and the defence minister of US the hero Robert Gats was in Australia at that time on his way to Turkey , he from australia said to the Turks: you are not allowed to continue your operation and you have to leave South Kurdistan now and the turkish army withdrew in the same day in a humiliating way. Let's not forget that Turkey for few years ago has rejected the kurdish autonomy in South Kurdistan and threatened with military actions many times and our leader Masoud Barzani opposed Turkey strongly in this issue and mobilised our brave peshmerga near the boarder with Turkey. Now in this decisive moment we hope that our leader if he not supports the kurds and PYD in ROJAVA, he and his party PDK at least not work against them which is not in benefit any kurds but our enemy Turkey and terrorists arabs.
Arjun | 14/11/2013
So what turkey rejected the autonomy!! As if all kurds in rojava are waiting to see what turkey thinks.. And this is the best thing for kurds in rojava right now, so KNC should stop undermining the project and support it!! (That is if they really care for kurds and rojava)...
Russel Check | 14/11/2013
Turkey was also against KRG the first 15 years, they did everything to destabilize and dismantle it, did'n work then and will not work now. The Syrian ""opposition" should worry about the cannibalism, torture and beheading their 100 factions are doing to each other on a daily basis than worry about a peaceful democratic entity such as Rojava.
KPatriot | 14/11/2013
Who are these "Kurdish" parties that are against Kurdish freedom and selfrule? They sound everything but Kurdish to me. And Rudaw you're again twisting on facts, showing your inability to do neutral reporting, when you make statements such as "while the larger opposition representing the Kurds". What larger opposition? PYD is the largest party in Rojava, and YPG is the most popular force, even Arabs and Christians join it. Only traitors are against such moves. What do we have to lose? Turkey's support? Turkey will NEVER support Kurds, unless they earn a lot from it. So to hell with Turkey. To hell with all the people who are supporting the barbaric Al Qaida linked militants who are fighting YPG and trying to terrorize the people there. Turkey, West etc are supporting them, they're already involved in oppressing Kurds, so why should we take their interests in consideration? Full support to the YPG. If you need more man power, let us know.
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