Turkish PM responds to Joe Biden over PYD, academics
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has responded to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's recent remarks over differentiating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria.
“To say that these (groups) are separate, one should be unaware that those (PKK) guns are coming to (Turkey) from Syria,” the prime minister told reporters on board while returning from Berlin to Turkey.
The headquarters of the People’s Defense Units (YPG), the armed forces of the PYD, is the PKK headquarters on the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq, Davutoğlu said.
“Turkey would do the same thing it is doing to the PKK if it sees PYD as a risk on its border with Syria,” he said.
“The PYD is a terrorist organization that cooperates with the Syrian regime. Struggling against Daeş does not grant them legitimacy,” the PM said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Later on Jan. 23, Davutoğlu and Biden met in Istanbul.
Commenting on remarks by Biden, who criticized the detention of dozens of academics after signing a petition to call for end to fighting in southeastern Turkey, Davutoğlu said he preferred to struggle against these academics on an intellectual field and prosecutors were not acting on orders by the government.
The academics were later released as inspections continue.
The prime minister also ruled out recent rumors over a government move to hold snap elections.