Turkey ‘won’t fall out with US over PYD’

Turkey ‘won’t fall out with US over PYD’

Turkey ‘won’t fall out with US over PYD’

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Turkey and the United States will not fall out over their differing stances on the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said. 

“Not every two countries can be like-minded on every issue. For example, they [U.S.] think differently, we think differently, but we will not fall out because we have differing thoughts,” Çavuşoğlu told Voice of America on March 30, after lecturing at George Washington University. 

“We are two significant partners and we have common targets but we can think differently on some topics. When we express our thoughts, then it is perceived as though there is a problem between the two countries,” he added. 

Turkey’s relations with the U.S. have been strained due to their differing stances regarding the PYD and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The U.S. sees the two organizations as “reliable” and important partners in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria and supplies them with military logistics. Turkey meanwhile says the PYD and YPG are terrorist organizations as they are the offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the country has been in an armed conflict with since the mid-1980s. 

“Why do we need to convince each other that we think differently; we have proof in our hand. We give [them] the documents and information that the PYD/YPG is no different than the PKK,” said Çavuşoğlu. 

“Therefore, there is no deterioration in the relations between the U.S. and Turkey. On the contrary, our strategic partnership marks even more importance,” he said. 

Çavuşoğlu also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was planning to visit Turkey, without disclosing any details of a possible visit.