Turkey not to allow Kurdish state in Syria: Erdogan

Erdogan has previously likened the prospects of a Kurdish rule in Syria to that in Iraq where the Kurdistan Region has set a referendum on independence in September.
author_image Ari Khalidi

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Friday that his country would never allow a state founded by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria.

"No matter who is with you or behind you, let it be known that the Republic of Turkey with its armed forces and all other capabilities will never allow the formation of a state in northern Syria," said Erdogan.

PYD's armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) is the primary United States ally in the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria despite strong Turkish objection often voiced by Erdogan.

None of the parties in Syrian Kurdistan demand statehood, including the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its opposition the Kurdish National Council (ENKS).

Erdogan was giving a public speech in the ethnically Arab town of the Akcakale right on the border with Syria in the Sanliurfa Province, reported Kurdistan24's Turkish language service.

"We told the US the same thing. We told them, please do not allow such a thing [Kurdish state] or else you will be equated with a terrorist state," Erdogan told the crowd.

PYD and ENKS rivals advocate different degrees of self-governance for the Kurds and other minority groups in the north of Syria where a functioning self-declared autonomous region named Federation of Northern Syria already exists.

Turkey calls the region "a terror corridor" for the PYD's controversial ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that is fighting its troops for larger Kurdish rights.

Kurdish territorial expansion in the face of IS in Syria and Iraq and their growing political influence at an international level have worried Turkey.

Erdogan has previously likened the prospects of a Kurdish rule in Syria to that in Iraq where the Kurdistan Region has set a referendum on independence in September.

Turkey perceives both Kurdish-ruled regions as the prelude to a future Greater Kurdistan which would encompass a dozen or more Kurdish-majority provinces in its east and southeast.

 

Editing by Ava Homa