Turkish minister to meet Iraqi Kurds over Syria
ANKARA - The Associated Press
AA PhotoAs Turkey moved heavy weapons to its border with Syria, its foreign minister was expected to urge the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region not to support a Syrian Kurdish party that is allegedly collaborating with Iraq-based Turkish Kurdish militants, NTV television said Wednesday.
Ahmet Davutoğlu’s trip to northern Iraq on Wednesday comes as Turkey deployed tanks and anti-aircraft missile launchers on the Syrian border, saying it will not tolerate any move that threatens its security from Syria.
Davutoğlu’s office said Wednesday that the minister would discuss "regional issues and the struggle against terrorism" with Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region.
For decades, Turkey has complained that Iraqi Kurds were not doing enough to stop Kurdish militants from using Iraqi soil to fight Turkey. Now, Turkey fears Kurdish rebels are also trying to gain ground in northern Syria as forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad fight the Syrian rebels.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç on Tuesday expressed concern over the hoisting of a red-yellow-green banner of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK in some Syrian towns.
Turkey had moved anti-aircraft missile batteries to the Syrian border after Syria downed a Turkish reconnaissance jet in June and recently deployed tanks to border areas across Syrian towns, including Qamishli, allegedly held by Kurdish rebels and the Democratic Union Party of Syria, known as the PYD.
"We will never tolerate initiatives that would threaten Turkey’s security," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an address to the nation on Tuesday.