Turkey will not allow citizens to fight in Kobane: PM Davutoğlu
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) and Interior Minister Efkan Ala (L) speak during a press conference at the Interior Ministry in Ankara, Oct. 15. AA PhotoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said Turkey will not allow its citizens to cross to border to Syria to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants alongside Kurds in Kobane.
“We don’t want our citizens to fight in Syria and we are trying to stop those who illegally cross the border,” Davutoğlu told the media during a press conference at the Interior Ministry Oct. 15.
Davutoğlu also said Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin who died during fighting in Kobane, where fierce clashes have been ongoing since ISIL’s first started bidding to capture the town a month ago, caused him "sorrow."
However, he slammed Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the Kurdish-leftist bloc of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for his remarks this week that “tens of thousands Kurdish youth” were ready to fight against ISIL if the Turkish-Syrian border gates into Kobane are opened.
“If any Syrian wants to go to Syria for fighting, the border gates are open for them, but even they themselves do not want to go,” he said, adding that around 300 members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) had recently laid down their arms in Syria and taken refuge in Turkey.
“Just a small group of them want to cross the border to fight ISIL militants, whereas the majority wants to stay safely in Turkey,” Davutoğlu said. “What can we do? Do we force them to go back?”
The prime minister stressed that Turkey will “never let” foreign fighters cross its borders, vowing that “the Turkish border gates are open only for humanitarian purposes."