Turkish PM: Turkey will not comply with Syrian cease-fire if under threat
The Syrian cease-fire deal does not apply to Turkey if Turkey is under threat, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Feb. 25.
“This [Syrian cease-fire] deal is not binding for us when a party is of threat to Turkey, when Turkey’s security is at stake,” said Davutoğlu in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Konya on Feb. 25.
Davutoğlu was referring to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG), the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, which Turkey says is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“For us, the YPG is a terror organization just like Deash [the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant - ISIL] and al-Nusra. The deal did not designate the YPG as a terrorist organization. That should have been done. But it should be known that this cease-fire deal is valid for Syria,” said Davutoğlu, suggesting that Turkey would not comply with the cease-fire “when it [was] threatened.”
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the PYD and the YPG should be excluded from the cessation of hostilities deal in Syria, just like ISIL.
“The PYD and the YPG need to be out of the scope of the cease-fire, just like Daesh is,” Erdoğan said during a speech to village headmen in Ankara on Feb. 24.
Davutoğlu added that Turkey would not need anyone’s permission to carry out “security measures” when Turkey’s security was at stake.
“When Turkey’s security is at stake, Turkey will not get permission from or ask permission from anyone. We will do what is necessary because from that moment onwards, it will not be a Syrian issue but an issue for Turkey,” said Davutoğlu.
“Therefore, I openly make a call from here: the YPG and PKK elements should not continue their attitude of supporting terror in Turkey by saying ‘There is cease-fire here [in Syria], so Turkey won’t do anything to us,’” he added. “The truce is valid for Syria. The only place which will decide on the security measures Turkey will take is Ankara.”