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Rudaw

Turkey

Erdogan condemns ‘dishonest’ US support for YPG and rails against ‘atheist’ PKK

By Rudaw 28/5/2016
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: AP
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—In a speech in the majority Kurdish city Diyarbakir on Saturday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan railed against Kurdish groups in Turkey and Syria – calling the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) “atheists” who have destroyed mosques and condemning the United States’ “dishonest” support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria. 

“Those who are our friends, who are with us in NATO,” said Erdogan, “cannot, must not send their soldiers to Syria wearing YPG insignia.”

An AFP photographer captured images of US special forces wearing insignia of the Kurdish group when supporting Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is predominantly made up of the YPG, in their offensive against the Islamic State north of Raqqa. 

The photographs inspired passionate responses from all sides. Kurds lauded the US forces for their support. Salih Muslim, co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political wing of the YPG, thanked the Americans for wearing the patches and standing “shoulder-to-shoulder on the same front, fighting terrorists.”

But Turkey, who considers the PYD and YPG to be extensions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is named a terrorist organization by Turkey and the US, swiftly condemned the action.

Erdogan accused the US of being dishonest in their support for the YPG while claiming to be fighting terrorism. 

“The PKK, the PYD, the YPG, Daesh [Islamic State], there is no difference,” he said. “They are all terrorists.”

The United States, in an effort to diffuse tensions with its NATO ally, has ordered its troops to not wear the Kurdish insignia, but has played down the rift. 

“We understand Turkey’s concerns,” said Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the US State Department, vowing to discuss with Ankara its concerns yet maintaining that the United States will continue to support the YPG.

“[W]e believe the YPG as well as other forces in northern Syria are effectively taking the fight to ISIL [ISIS],” Toner said. “And we’re going to continue to support them with our assist and support operation.”

Also in his speech on Saturday, Erdogan railed against the PKK, calling them atheists. 

“Haven’t they destroyed our mosques? These people are atheists,” he said, vowing to see the fight with the PKK “through to the end.” 

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also maintained a hardline stance against the PKK in a speech at the same event. “The PKK terrorists don’t have any concern about Kurdish issues. Everyone should know that we can divide roads or our bread, but we will never, ever let anyone divide the country.”

“Terrorists will not be successful. They may make a bomb or slaughter civilians. But they will not accomplish anything.”

Comments

 
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American | 28/5/2016
Does anybody notice that only Turkey screams terrorists, when they hear the word Kurd? Not the Europeans, not the Americans, not the Arabs fighting with them, not even ISIS themselves they just call them infidels not terrorists. I don't think Turkey is a NATO ally anymore nor a democracy, but an Islamic Theocracy were whoever opposes Eurogan is either a terrorist or an atheists yet claims to be a secular nation. Then talks to Hamas terrorists behind their supposed Israeli Ally's back and give weapons to those who are closely tied to Al-Qaeda. And has yet to apologize for the Armenian Genocide citing bogus claims that Turks were too killed. I don't see Germany and Germans rejecting the Holocaust because a few Nazis were killed by Jews when the Jews human rights were being stolen from them, no I see them making it illegal to be a Holocaust denier, host Holocaust remembrance day, and have the German Youth send apologize letters to Holocaust survivors and their family members annually. Turkey was supposed to be the role model for the Islamic World now it's a joke, only the Kurds are capable of leading the Islamic World into the 21st Century.
American | 28/5/2016
Also, he does his speech in a Kurdish city, yet never tries to separate a Kurd from a PKK terrorist in his speech he only talks about Mosques as if Kurdish Muslims knows only Islam, and tries to say that the PKK isn't trying to help Kurds when clearly he has been sabotaging them in Government and discriminating against youth. I sick of Turkey I will never spend a penny on their tourism. Somebody needs to step on them and call them out on who they are and not be afraid to lose contact with them
Kemo | 28/5/2016
Kurds and Turks are both suffering from the Islamic tyranny.
kurdish natinoalist | 29/5/2016
He barking like dog when bee Hungry.
Hersh | 29/5/2016
Clever attempt by Rudaw to try to hide his most controversial statement during that speech, mr. Erdogan condemned the United States of America on Turkish national TV. He also labeled Kurds and particularly the PKK as atheists and zoroastrians, for those who don't know that's a very big insult in Turkey nowadays. As for mosques his army used both tanks and helicopter gunships to destroy dozens of mosques across the Kurdish region. This man has no shame whatsoever, even more sad is the fact that this is the man the American adm. is bending over backward for.
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