Turkey’s resolution process won’t resolve problems of Kurds in Syria-Iraq: Deputy PM

Turkey’s resolution process won’t resolve problems of Kurds in Syria-Iraq: Deputy PM

Turkey’s resolution process won’t resolve problems of Kurds in Syria-Iraq: Deputy PM

Turkish soldiers filter the access at Mürşitpınar crossing gate as Syrian Kurdish people try to pass to Syria near the border at the southeastern town of Suruç in Şanlıurfa province, on Sept. 28. AFP Photo / Bülent Kılıç

The ongoing resolution process is aiming at resolving the problems of Kurds in Turkey, not the Kurds of Syria and Iraq, a senior government official has said.

His statements aimed to disprove claims that the unrest in northern Syria affecting Kurds would have an impact on Turkey’s reconciliation process.

“This is of course not part of the [peace] process. If it was, then all issues affecting Kurds in Iraq, Iran or elsewhere [would affect the process]; and developments concerning affiliates of the [outlawed] Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] … Turkey is trying to solve an internal issue, not solve the Kurdish problem of all regional countries,” Yalçın Akdoğan, deputy Prime Minister, told the private broadcaster Kanal 7, in an interview Sept. 28.

Akdoğan’s statement comes as a response to criticism coming from Kurdish political groups against the government for its inaction toward the ongoing clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Kurds in Syria. 

“These are different issues and should be evaluated within their own framework. There are certainly aspects that have links with our own process. However, establishing direct links between these two issues does not bring solutions. That’s why we should separate these two issues,” he stressed.

Recalling that he called Kurds in Syria Turkey’s natural allies in a statement over the weekend, Akdoğan said these groups have strong bonds with Turkey and its people. “Their ally is not Bashar al-Assad’s regime. My criticism is this: You should think better about who you stand with. Then, you won’t yell ‘Why don’t you save me?’ at me, although you have been standing with that regime,” he said.     

Harsh words toward Kandil

Akdoğan urged the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syria, albeit without directly naming it, that there is a new era and everyone has to take new positions in this period. “With whom will you establish an alliance? Who do you stand with? Al-Assad played with you in the past and you adopted a wait-and-see position with hopes that you would get an advantageous position.  It’s time to redefine the positions now,” he stressed.

One of the criticisms directed at the government by the Kurdish groups is its plans to establish a buffer zone inside Syria, Akdoğan said, “On one hand, you ask Turkey to help, on the other hand, you say the ‘buffer zone is a source of war’. If you have enough power to declare a war, then go fight [against ISIL].”

Akdoğan lashed out at the PKK’s leadership over its strong-worded criticisms against Turkey over the unrest in northern Syria, saying, “They don’t know how to fly, but keep talking on the roof! They lay around in Kandil [the mountains in northern Iraq where the PKK has its headquarters] and talk in purple prose about Kobane. Instead of talking from there, go to Kobane to fight.”