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Rudaw

Syria

Salih Muslim’s Ankara Visit Marks Major Policy Change

By HEMIN KHOSHNAW 29/7/2013
Shalal Gado, representative of the Kurdish Left Party in Sulaimani said he believed that it was the successful rout of Islamic fighters by the People’s Defense Units (PYG) – the PYD’s armed wing – in the Kurdish areas that that forced Turkey to meet with Syrian Kurds. Photo: AP
Shalal Gado, representative of the Kurdish Left Party in Sulaimani said he believed that it was the successful rout of Islamic fighters by the People’s Defense Units (PYG) – the PYD’s armed wing – in the Kurdish areas that that forced Turkey to meet with Syrian Kurds. Photo: AP


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Democratic Union Party (PYD) has reassured Ankara that his group’s call for a local administration in Syria’s Kurdish regions does not mean that the group is looking to divide Syria.

Salih Muslim, leader of the PYD, met with Turkish officials last week, marking a major policy change between two sides deeply suspicious of each other.

Muslim who flew to Turkey from Erbil, told the media that he was in Turkey to allay Ankara’s concerns over Kurdish separatism, and to explain why the Syria’s Kurdish regions needed a  local administration to run their own affairs.

"Kurds will need to have a status in the new order in Syria,” Muslim told Anadolu News Agency. “But what's in question now is a provisional arrangement until we arrive at that phase. It's not about making a constitution, but practical rules are necessary.”

Muslim told Turkish officials that a local administration would include other ethnic groups such as Christians, Turkmen and Arabs who live in the Kurdish-majority areas in northeastern Syria.

“Our thought is to establish a provisional council of 40 to 50 -- maybe a hundred people,” he said. “This council will comprise Kurds, Syriacs, Arabs and Turkmens. They will choose the provisional administration from among themselves.”

Since the start of the Syrian revolution against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad more than two years ago, Turkey has been uneasy about the presence of the PYD -- which it sees as a branch of its own outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) -- along its borders.

In turn, PYD officials have accused Turkey of supporting radical Islamic fighters who try to take over Kurdish towns and villages near the border, including the radical Jabhal al-Nusrah, which the Kurds accuse Ankara of backing.

Muslim’s visit appears to have eased suspicions between both sides. Speaking to the media, Muslim said that he had conveyed the Kurds’ concern about the radical Jabhat al-Nusrah to Turkish foreign ministry officials.

Other Syrian Kurdish parties applauded the meeting between Muslim and Turkey, believing it will help the Kurdish cause in Syria.

Shalal Gado, representative of the Kurdish Left Party in Sulaimani said he believed that it was the successful rout of Islamic fighters by the People’s Defense Units (PYG) – the PYD’s armed wing – in the Kurdish areas that that forced Turkey to meet with Syrian Kurds.

“Until recently most Kurdish leaders believed the YPG is a curse to the Kurdish cause and that that organization is unable to talk to the world,” Gado told Rudaw. “But this visit disproved that perception.”

Muslim also told Dicle News that Turkish officials had promised to reopen some of their border crossing and customs points along the Kurdish areas of Syria.

Jadan Ali, head of the Kurdish Reform Movement in Syria, said that Turkey has finally realized that the YPG is a force to be reckoned with, hence calling a meeting with Muslim.

“But there are other reasons too,” said Ali. “Turkey sees that the main Syrian opposition groups are getting weaker and that the Assad regime is regaining strength.”

Ali said that at this critical phase in the Syrian revolution, Turkey knows that it is better to talk to the PYD than keep it as an enemy.

Meanwhile, some Kurdish groups expressed a sense of betrayed by the PYD.

Mahmoud Muhammad, representative of the Kurdish United Democratic Party in Syria, said that the PYD had branded all other Kurdish groups as Turkish agents in the past, yet Muslim himself flew to Turkey on an official visit.

Muhammad said that his party had declined several invitations from Turkey in the past, insisting on Kurdish unity instead.

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Ihsan Köl
Ihsan Köl | 29/7/2013
Necirvan Berzani visiting Turkey right now because PYD is seen by Turkey as representative of Rojava instead of legitimate Kurdish Unity. Iraq's Kurdistan is also openly uncomfortable about Salih's undercover meeting with Turkey's secret agency. Berzani is going to tell that he is not allowing any treacherous game between Turkey and Salih. As known Turkey wants to be bossy over all parts of Kurdistan. And Turkey is trying to do that by PKK and by it's all extensions(PYD, ect.) Berzani lets Turkey know that with old-fashion games is nothing going to be accomplished. There is no other way but conversation in order to agree with Kurds and Kurdistan.
Ihsan Köl
Ihsan Köl | 29/7/2013
Forgot to tell! My suspiciousness about YPG's authonomy plan was all right. There is no fucking plan. Kurds who support PYD think again don't be ignorant. Support Kurdish Unity and KRG. Those who work for Unity.
rojava | 30/7/2013
The PYD said few days ago that they agreed with other Kurdish parties to declare autonomy for western Kurdistan, to elect a parliament and to write a constitution, so I was with them. But now this Salih Muslim visited Turkey and he sold Rojava to Turkey. Muslim says now that they dont want autonomy, a parliament or a constitution they just want to build a provisional administration which is nothing. And Muslim also said that they removed the Kurdish flags from border towns with Turkey, because Turkey said it. I am sure that Öcalan who works for Turkey ordered that, because Öcalan sent a letter to Muslim, Öcalan warned the PYD not to declare anything. Öcalan is lost, he dont care about kurdistan, turkey use him against Kurds, if Kurds listen to Öcalan, they will be under the control of Turkey.
Kurd | 30/7/2013
Why they dont declare a autonomy in Rojava now? After the revolution 1991 south Kurdistan declared directly autonomy without looking to Turkey. South Kurdistan built a parliament, and held elections. Now just because Turkey want it, the PYD turned against a autonomy. Turkey just want that the Syrian opposition wins time and get the power so that they can attack Rojava and still the PYD listen to the biggest enemy of the Kurds, thanks to Öcalan.
Basuri | 30/7/2013
This is just politics, wait and se, We need turkey to open the border, if they dont the people of rojava will suffer a lot! We will gain autonomy. We just have to be patient. Ihsan köl, you talk about unity? Why have KRG closed the border between rojava and bashur? Is that unity? The people of rojava need humantarian aid, OPEN THE BORDERS KRG! Dont leave your brothers and sisters.
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