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DIPLOMACY >Turkish interior minister slams US over PKK, YPG support

ANKARA

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has criticized the United States, indirectly saying that it supports the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) through its Syrian wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). 

“Support to the PKK is not coming from the other ends of the world. It is not coming from Turkey or from unknown places. It is not Japan that is giving brand-new weapons to the PYD [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party], which is a facelift version of the PKK. So, there are wrong choices,” Soylu said at a conference on July 31.

Ankara criticizes the U.S.’s policy in Syria, saying that Washington supports the PYD and fighters from its military wing, the YPG, both organizations Turkey regards as an extension of the PKK. 

Both Washington and Ankara classify the PKK as a terrorist organization. 

“If the modern world withdraws its support in proxy wars, if countries stop supporting terrorist organizations covertly or openly, and if they speed up the struggle against those organizations, the world will be a better place,” Soylu said.

He then indirectly accused the U.S. of supporting the PKK and “creating problems” for Turkey.

“We know quite clearly which countries are trying to set an obstacle to our country. We know very well who is trying to come into contact with Kandil. We know the origins of some weapons that we have caught in our country and where from they have been transferred to Turkey,” he said, referring to the mountains in northern Iraq where the PKK has its headquarters. 

“We are aware of them and we are taking our precautions,” he said.

“If all those things will be ensured, surely millions of refugees will not knock on our doors. The bombs will not explode in Paris, there will not be any terrorist attacks with trucks,” he added.

The U.S. has been providing weapons to the YPG to be used in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) despite Ankara’s strong reaction.

July/31/2017

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