President of European Socialists: Turkey should turn commitments into reality for Kobane
Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
Fellow soldiers and relatives mourn the death of fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), who were killed during clashes with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fighters, during their funeral in Ras al-Ain countryside in Syria's Hasakah province. REUTERS PhotoGianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats group (S&D) at the European Parliament, has urged the Turkish government to allow fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to use Turkish territory to cross into Kobane.
Pittella’s call came when asked to elaborate their appeal for more support from the Turkish government in the fight against the jihadists in neighboring Syria.
“The coalition will decide on the helpful mediums for the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]. Removing obstacles on the crossings of [YPG] fighters to fight against ISIL could be an example for that,” Pittella told a group of journalists on Oct. 31 following his meetings with Turkish officials including EU Minister Volkan Bozkır, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara.
The first item on their agenda in talks with Turkish officials was Kobane, Pittella said.
Bozkır assured them about Turkey’s commitment to being a part of the Western alliance against the jihadist group, he said. “But, these words have to be turned into reality,” Pittella added.
If the anti-ISIL collation decides on a military intervention in Syria, then Turkey should act in line with the alliance, he noted.
When asked about European countries’ possible contribution to Syrian Kurds for the heavy weapons the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has been requesting, the S&D president said he “is not a soldier and cannot comment because he is not authorized to make such a decision.” However, “Europe is fully committed to the fight against ISIL,” he added.
Pittella briefly noted that the PYD was not classified on the same list with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is blacklisted as terrorist organization by the EU when asked whether he considered the PYD a terrorist organization.
As a second item of their talks in Turkey, Pittella also said they support opening Chapters 17, 23 and 24 in negotiations between Turkey and the EU.