We told US we won’t ask anyone if YPG provokes us: Erdoğan
President Erdoğan speaks during an event. AA photo
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Ankara told the United States that it won’t ask anyone before responding if an attack or a provocation from the the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) takes place against Turkey.
“We told the U.S. that we won’t discuss the issue with anyone and make our own decision if a provocation or an attack takes place against us from northern Syria,” Erdoğan said during his speech in a meeting of Independent Industrial and Business Association (MÜSİAD) on June 3 in Istanbul, as he added that the U.S. wants to carry out an operation in Raqqa against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with YPG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
“The U.S. wants to conduct the operation with two terrorist groups, with one being a political and the other one the action leg, meaning YPG and PYD,” he also said.
Turkey says the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and calls on its allies to cease cooperating with them.
The PKK is also outlawed by the U.S., but Washington believes the YPG is the most effective fighting force against ISIL in Syria, thus causing tensions between the NATO allies.
Saying that Turkey told the U.S. that it would act in its own will just like it did in Jarablus, al-Rai and al-Bab during the Euphrates Shield Operation, Erdoğan noted that the security forces are carrying out the most successful operations against the PKK in Turkish history.
Durinh his speech Erdoğan also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) over marking the fourth anniversary of Gezi Park protests.
“The leader of the main opposition [Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu] sends messages for the fourth anniversary of Gezi protests. He says, ‘I salute those struggling for freedom and rights.’ Which struggle?” he said, adding that Kılıçdaroğlu “escaped” from the Atatürk Airport during the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“You escaped on July 15. Now, they are cooperating with those who stand behind the separatist terrorist organiation,” he also said.
Erdoğan called on businesspeople to invest, produce, export and increase employment, adding that 2017 will be a historically successful year in terms of economy.