ISIL poses threat to Turkey, not the PYD: Demirtaş
Sevil Erkuş - email@example.com DİYARBAKIR/ ANKARA
Fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), holding a flag with an image of the imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan, gesture as they stand near a Turkish army tank which takes position at the new site of the Süleyman Şah tomb in the northern Syrian village of Ashme, Aleppo province, February 22, 2015. REUTERS PhotoThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a threat to Turkey, not the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia of the Syrian Kurds, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş said on Feb. 23.
“We see that ISIL has gradually started to threaten Turkey, and I think it will henceforth pose an even greater threat to Turkey,” Demirtaş told reporters in Diyarbakır.
“Turkey should realize how important it is to cooperate with democratic powers in the region, particularly the PYD, in the fight against ISIL and against its mentality,” he added.
Demirtaş also expressed his hope that this would enable Ankara to enhance its “formal relations with the PYD.”
The operation for the evacuation of the Süleyman Şah Tomb showed that the PYD is not an enemy to Turkey, he added.
Turkey and Kobane canton in talks for relocation of Süleyman Şah Tomb
Meanwhile, another senior HDP executive has indicated that Ankara’s direct contact with the administration of the Kobane canton in Rojava would be inevitable for the relocation of the Süleyman Şah Tomb, arguing that otherwise there would be an impossible “de facto” situation.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) both provided security and opened a corridor for Turkish military troops the for evacuation of tomb, but the de facto relocation of the tomb to Ashme village west of Kobane would not have been possible without the canton’s permission, Nazmi Gür, the deputy co-leader of the HDP in charge of external affairs, told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Ashme is a Kurdish village that was liberated from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants 10 days ago, and the transfer of Tomb of Süleyman Şah to the village was only possible because it was “based on an agreement with the Kobane administration,” Gür said, stressing the necessity for “formal dialogue between Turkey and the Kobane canton.”
The process for the relocation of the tomb to Ashme is ongoing, according to Gür. “Preparations are continuing. There are talks with the Kobane canton,” Gür said Feb. 23. “The Kobane canton wants to enhance dialogue with Turkey.”
The HDP deputy recalled the expectation of both his party and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political wing of the YPG, that Ankara would “formally open the Mürşitpınar border crossing and enable a corridor” into Kobane, which would pave the way to provide assistance for the reconstruction of the canton.
Gün said the step was important for the security of Turkey, requiring Ankara to change its wrongful policies in the Middle East and Syria and strengthen its position in the region.
Enver Muslim, the head of the Kobane canton and a senior PYD official, is in Turkey, but he is yet to have any talks with Turkish officials since his presence in the country is related to a visa application to a European country, Gür said. “He does not have any other plans in regard to his presence in Ankara,” he added.
However, Turkish officials “are having discussions” with the canton on the ground, the HDP deputy said.