Turkish PM calls on Trump to end ‘shameful’ Obama policy on PYD
AP photoTurkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to end the Obama administration’s “shameful” policy toward Turkey over the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces.
“The world talks about Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL] but it does not fight [against it]. It is only Turkey that fights against Daesh. The United States and others do nothing. They just supply the PYD with weapons,” said Yıldırım on Jan. 3, in a weekly parliamentary address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members.
“What we expect from the new administration is to bring an end to this shame,” Yıldırım said, referring to Trump, who will assume the presidency from President Barack Obama on Jan. 20.
“We do not hold the new administration responsible for this situation, because it was the achievement of the Obama administration,” he added.
Turkey and the U.S. are at odds over the designation of the PYD and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG). While Turkey sees them as terror organizations due to their ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the U.S. designates the PKK as a terror organization but does not regard the PYD and YPG the same, seeing them instead as partners in the fight against ISIL.
On Dec. 29, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the U.S. of directly supplying the PYD with weapons.
“You sent arms to terror organizations, but then say, ‘We sent ammunition, not arms.” We don’t buy that or accept it. Although we are partners in NATO, you are giving this support to terrorist organizations, not us. Are the terrorist organizations your partner in NATO? If we are strategic partners in NATO, you should stand with us,” Erdoğan said.
The U.S. denies Turkey’s allegations, which was put forth in a statement on Dec. 28, 2016 by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.
“The United States government has not provided weapons or explosives to the YPG or the PKK – period. We repeatedly have condemned PKK terrorist attacks and the group’s reprehensible violence in Turkey,” the statement read.