Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds

Adjust Comment Print

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, makes a statement prior to his trip to China, followed by a trip to Washington, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, May 12, 2017.

Cavusoglu said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would take up the issue with President Donald Trump during a visit to Washington planned for next week. In Erdogan's words, the meeting is to be "a new milestone" for relations between Turkey and the United States.

Erdogan, who is to meet with Trump during a visit Tuesday to Washington, is expected to express his anger at the USA president's decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria in preparation for an attack on Raqqa, the Syrian city serving as the capital of the Islamic State. "They presented lot of documents to help clear the US stance on YPG".

The goal of those visits was "to pave the ground for fruitful discussions between the two presidents".

"Now we will conduct the final talks", Erdogan said.

His prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said that Washington's stance "will surely have consequences and will yield a negative result for the U.S.as well". "And I'm glad to see the president stands behind that".

Erdogan and other top Turkish officials have pressed for the U.S.to reverse its strategy, however low the prospects of Trump changing his mind. Besides, Turkey's wish for a role at the expense of the Kurds further complicates the problem. "If the alliance will be overshadowed, then we will have to take care of ourselves", Erdoğan told reporters. On a collision course with an ally, the United States will arm Syria's Kurds to fight Islamic State militants despite staunch objections from Turkey.

Ankara says the YPG is linked to PKK separatists inside Turkey, who have waged an insurgency since 1984 that has killed more than 40,000 people. Washington, meanwhile, has suggested it will attempt to assuage Turkey's concerns by supporting Turkish security. Moreover, D. Trump decided not to depart from the policy of destabilizing the situation in the Middle East.

Turkey's military operation in northern Syria was effectively limited by both the USA and Russian Federation, and the whole affair was halted a while ago.

It's not as though Turkey was unaware that U.S. weaponry was ending up with Kurdish Democratic Union forces, which Ankara considers a terrorist group allied with Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Turkey pointed to the links the YPG has to the PKK, which both sides agree is a terrorist group.

From the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq to Washington's latest decision to arm Kurdish groups in Syria, relations between Turkey and the U.S. have been tested repeatedly.

The administration of former president Barack Obama did not act on the long-standing extradition request, even after the failed coup. Worse than that, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has always been held hostage to nationalism concerning the Kurdish issue and foreign policy. Erdoğan will meet Trump for the first time since the latter assumed office, with the talks "to be in the format of a point rather than a comma" in terms of the allies' future ties, according to the Turkish leader.

Turkey has long insisted that US arms were already going directly to the Syrian Kurdish group.

The Turks fear any weapons the USA provides the Syrian Kurds could well end up with their ethnic brethren in Turkey, who've fought violently as part of a separatist insurgency for more than three decades.

US -backed Kurdish-led Syrian forces are advancing toward Raqqa after capturing several nearby towns and villages recently. The YPG is the main component of the SDF.

"We do not supply weapons to them and they do not particularly need our supply".

"Put yourself in the shoes of the Turkish president", the official said. These are terrorist organizations.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces advanced on Raqqa in a multi-pronged offensive, with backing from the US-led coalition, bringing them within four kilometres of the city to the north-east and within about six kilometres to the north.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States responded by openly demonstrating its flag within the framework of their mission in the northern part of Syria in order to prevent Turkey from hitting USA allies. "They've been saying that for a year now". First, enhanced and increased US assistance against the PKK, without any public expressions of concern about the tactics the Turkish military uses in civilian areas of southeastern Turkey. "They have worked quite well with American forces and it's the right thing to do", Ernst says.

After Tabqah was liberated on Thursday, children and YPG fighters - a Kurdish force that is part of the SDF - could be seen dancing in the streets.

Comments