Turkey’s top security body calls for designation of PYD as ‘terrorist’
DHA photoTurkey’s top national security body has called on the international community to designate affiliations of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria as terrorist organizations, shortly after Ankara warned Russia and the United States on supplying arms and support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Need for registration of the separatist terrorist organization’s extensions in Syria too within the scope of terror organizations in the international field was underlined; it was emphasized that the struggle against DEASH [ISIL] terror organization will be resumed with determination,” the National Security Council (MGK) said in a written statement released late Oct. 21, following a six-hour long bimonthly meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Customarily, neither the government, nor state agencies, nor the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) directly cite the name of the PKK in official statements, instead describing it either as “the separatist terrorist organization” or its members as “terrorists.”
Hours before the meeting, Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, discussed a surprise visit to Moscow by embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by telephone on Oct. 21 after the latter made his first official international trip since the civil war broke out in Syria over four years ago.
During the conversation with Putin, Erdoğan stressed the importance of “fighting all terrorist groups,” underlining the link between the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the PKK.
At the MGK meeting, which was the last of its regular meetings before the upcoming Nov. 1 snap elections, top civilian and military officials of the country also discussed “Russia’s and Iran’s stances and policies concerning the regime in Syria and the developments in the region,” as well as consecutive violations of Turkish airspace by Russian warplanes that took place in early October.
Having dealt with the Oct. 10 double suicide bomb attack that killed at least 102 people and was blamed on ISIL, the MGK vowed determination in the fight against all organizations involved in “terrorist activities” aimed at “the nation’s will for living together.”