Turkey rejects France’s bid to mediate between Ankara and YPG
PARIS – Anadolu Agency
Turkey has firmly rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to mediate between the Turkish government and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) while calling on Paris to take a clear stance against all of forms of terror.
“Turkey’s position on the PKK/PYD/YPG [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Democratic Union Party/People’s Protection Units], which seeks to legitimize itself as the SDF, is perfectly clear. We reject any efforts to promote ‘dialogue,’ ‘contact’ or ‘mediation’ between Turkey and those terrorist organizations,” İbrahim Kalın, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said through his Twitter account early on March 30.
Turkey has been fighting against the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, in the northwestern Syria enclave of Afrin, as it considers them the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
Kalın’s statement followed a meeting between Macron and a Syrian Kurdish delegation allegedly representing the SDF at the Elysée on March 29.
A statement issued by the Elysée after the talks underlined the continued support of the French government to the Syrian Kurdish groups that have been fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It also suggested Paris’ intention to create an environment of dialogue between the Turkish government and the SDF.
“Instead of taking steps, which could be construed as legitimizing terrorist organizations, the countries we consider friends and allies must take a clear stand against all forms of terrorism. The various names and disguises cannot hide the true identity of the terrorist organization,” Kalın replied to the Elysée.
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke with his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian over the phone following Macron’s meeting with the representatives of the Syrian Kurdish groups.
France has been gradually augmenting its opposition against the Turkish military’s operation into Afrin with calls on Ankara to limit its scope and duration.
Turkey will host a tripartite summit on Syria next week with the participation of Russia and Iran.