US stance on YPG leader could be ‘detrimental’ to Turkey-US ties: Altun
Turkey’s director of communications has criticized U.S. politicians for viewing YPG leader Ferhat Abdi Şahin, codenamed Mazloum Kobani, as a legitimate political figure, saying this issue could be “detrimental” to U.S.-Turkish ties.
“We reiterate that the recognition of a terrorist leader by our allies will be detrimental to our relations,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter on Oct. 28.
Altun’s remarks came following calls by U.S. legislators on the Donald Trump administration to fast track a visa for Kobani to travel to Washington and brief Congress on the situation in northeast Syria.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen said “it would be very beneficial for Congress and the administration to hear directly from the military leadership of the SDF about the situation on the ground and the fight against ISIS [ISIL].”
The United States-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories. Ankara considers the YPG as a terrorist organization due to its link with the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
Altun said the U.S.’ stance regarding this issue is “a violation of national and international laws” as well as against “the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership.”
“The U.S. authorities must not only deny terror leaders any visas but cooperate with allies to bring them to justice,” he said.
“Shortsighted policies to our region will create long lasting problems, destabilize the entire region and amplify risks to international security.”
Trump had previously said on Twitter that he anticipated a meeting with Kobani. This was criticized by senior Turkish officials, who said that since Kobani is a “terrorist” sought with an Interpol red notice, he should receive treatment in line with Ankara’s agreements with Washington.