Turkish FM Says US Must Choose Between Turkey, Syrian Kurds
21:26 09.02.2016(updated 21:28 09.02.2016)
The United States must choose between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds' Democratic Union Party (PYD), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – This statement comes after a meeting between US envoy to the anti-Daesh coalition Brett McGurk and a group of Kurds in Syria's Kobani in January provoked an angry reaction from Turkish President Recep Erdogan who said Washington must choose on whose side it is.
'The U.S. needs to make a decision: Does it choose us [Turkey] as a partner or terrorist organizations?' Cavusoglu reiterated on Tuesday in Budapest, as cited by the national Anadolu news agency.
He warned that Turkey considers PYD a terrorist group affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
US government spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that Washington was aware of Ankara's concerns, but said even friends do not always agree on everything.
A divide has been growing between Ankara and Washington on the role of Syrian Kurds in the fight against Daesh terrorist group. Washington does not recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization and considers Kurdish fighters a key ally in the fight against Daesh.
The Kurds are Turkey's largest ethnic minority and comprise some 25 percent of the country's population. The PKK has been fighting for independence of Kurdish territories from Ankara since 1984. The group seeks to create a Kurdish state in parts of Turkey and Iraq.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|