BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:15 A.M.) – Turkey announced its rejection of what it considered to be attempts by Russia and the United States to integrate the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) into the Syrian political track, stressing that it would prevent the establishment of a “terrorist corridor” on its borders.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu said in an interview with the local Haber TV channel on Friday that Russia and the United States are trying to integrate the People’s Protection Units, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization and a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), into the political track, despite Ankara’s rejection of their presence inside Syria.
Cavusoglu said that Russia was insisting on this matter and tried hard to go down this path, before the YPG completely entered the U.S. control sphere.
He continued in this context: “We, in turn, were telling them every time that there is no difference between them and the terrorists of the PKK organization.”
The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed that Turkey is not against the Kurds, noting: “After the failure to establish a state in this region, the United States is working this time on a plan to integrate into the political system, especially as they are trying to integrate the Kurdish National Council with the YPG.”
The Turkish Foreign Minister pointed out that the representation of the Kurds cannot be the responsibility of the terrorists, adding: “Our position is very clear, we will not allow the establishment of a terrorist corridor in the region, nor to legitimize the terrorists in it.”
He continued: “The terrorist is a terrorist, and putting our Kurdish brothers in the same vein with the terrorists is an insult to them, Turkey, Syria and Iraq.”
Russia has previously taken several measures to ease tensions between Turkey and Kurdish factions in Syria, and while the Russian government calls for an internal dialogue between Kurdish forces and the Syrian authorities, it has repeatedly stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria and return all areas of the country to Damascus’s control.