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Iran Press TV

Turkey won't allow Kurds to control northern Syria: Erdogan

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:47PM

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will not allow Kurds to take control of northern Syria, accusing them of trying to grab land in the region.

The Turkish president made the comments in a Saturday speech, condemning the recent merging of the Syrian town of Tal Abyad into an autonomous political structure established by the Kurds.

'All they want is to seize northern Syria entirely,' Erdogan said, adding that Ankara would not allow northern Syria to become what he called a victim of Kurdish groups' scheming.

"Because this constitutes a threat for us, and it is not possible for us as Turkey to say 'yes' to this threat," he said.

Over the past several months, Kurdish fighters have managed to achieve territorial gains in northern Syria in a move that has concerned Turkey as the government in Ankara fears it could spark separatist sentiments among Turkey's own Kurdish minority.

Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) captured Tal Abyad, which is on the border with Turkey, in June from Daesh Takfiri terrorists. Earlier this month, a local leadership council announced the town part of the system of autonomous self government established by the Kurds.

Kurds in Syria have formed three autonomous zones across the northern part of the country. However, they have rejected claims of seeking to create a state of their own.

Turkey has been fighting with militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) over the past three decades. The PKK wants an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey.

The Turkish government accuses the Syrian Kurds' political arm, the Democratic Union Party (Syria), also known as the PYD, of having strong ties with the PKK.

Erdogan, meanwhile, criticized those states that have assisted the PYD, without naming any countries, saying that there are 1,400 PKK members within the ranks of the PYD.

"But all these countries who seem friendly towards us are trying to make this look the opposite way. Whatever arms assistance they (PYD) receive, it is coming from these countries. We know very well whose arms," the Turkish president stated.

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