18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reasserted on Thursday that Turkey will take measures to prevent Syrian Kurdish groups affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from ruling northern Syria, a day after he announced that intervention in Syria is an “undisputed right” if terrorists within the troubled southern neighbor pose a threat to Turkey.">

Don't provoke us, Erdoğan says in stern warning to Syrian Kurds

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26 July 2012, Thursday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reasserted on Thursday that Turkey will take measures to prevent Syrian Kurdish groups affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from ruling northern Syria, a day after he announced that intervention in Syria is an “undisputed right” if terrorists within the troubled southern neighbor pose a threat to Turkey.

“We will not let the terrorist group to set up camps [in northern Syria] and pose a threat to us,” Erdoğan told reporters before departing for London to attend the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games. “No one should attempt to provoke us. We will not bow to provocation but rather take whatever steps are necessary against terrorism.”

Erdoğan said the military, Foreign Ministry and other relevant institutions are working on appropriate measures and added that ideas such as the establishment of a buffer zone are under consideration. Officials from Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) told Today's Zaman on Thursday that the party's executive board is expected to discuss next week whether to call for an early end to Parliament's recess so lawmakers will be able to debate and vote on a measure authorizing the government to send troops abroad.

In a sign that Turkey's ties with the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, which have only recovered in the past few years from a period of high tension, may also be hurt, Erdoğan said that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will tell the Iraqi Kurdish leadership “we are no longer responsible” for what might happen next when he visits northern Iraq by Wednesday at the latest. Syrian Kurds have gained control of several towns near the Turkish border in the past week, apparently after Syrian forces were moved to more central areas to fight back opposition forces emboldened by an audacious attack last Wednesday that resulted in the deaths of four senior Syrian officials, including the country's defense minister.

A coalition of Kurdish groups, apparently dominated by the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD), now controls the “liberated” areas and reports have said PKK flags have been raised at state buildings in the region.

Turkish officials first played down the emerging Kurdish rule, with Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay saying the flag incidents were only isolated cases. However, a security meeting headed by Erdoğan on Thursday ended with a brief statement disclosing that PKK activities in Turkey and neighboring countries are being discussed and that measures to be taken to stem these activities are under consideration.

Speaking hours after the meeting in a televised interview, Erdoğan made it clear that these measures could include military intervention in the case that a terrorism threat to Turkey out of northern Syria emerges. “This has been included in our changed rules of engagement [regarding any military threat from Syria]. … This is Turkey’s uncontestable right,” Erdoğan said during the interview with the private Kanal 24 television.

Erdoğan recalled that Turkey also conducted cross-border operations when such threats came out of northern Iraq. “Turkey’s airstrikes in northern Iraq at times were also steps taken as a security measure. And as the central Iraqi government did not object to that, the regional government in northern Iraq also accepted it,” Erdoğan maintained.

Turkey has launched countless cross-border operations into northern Iraq in recent years, causing tension with the region’s Kurdish administration. Relations improved significantly after the Kurdish administration committed itself to helping Ankara’s anti-terrorism efforts. However, this cooperation may be tested now that Syrian Kurds are becoming part of the wider picture.

The Syrian Kurds, PYD and Kurdish National Council (KNC) of Syria gained control of Kurdish areas after they agreed to set aside their differences and act together at a meeting hosted by Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in Arbil last month. Barzani’s role again came to the forefront when he made it public earlier this week that a group of Syrian Kurds had been given military training in northern Iraq, an announcement that Erdoğan called “ugly.”

Asked if the developments undermined trust in Barzani, Erdoğan said on Thursday that Davutoğlu will tell the Kurdish leadership that this is what should be avoided. “Let’s not allow feelings of trust to be hurt, but you should not let wrong steps be taken. Let’s take steps together to right a wrong,” Erdoğan said of the Iraqi Kurdish leaders.

The Turkish government sees the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main umbrella group of the Syrian opposition, as a legitimate representative of Syrian Kurdish interests, disregarding their troubled ties.

“We have the SNC and it is headed by a Kurdish brother of ours,” Erdoğan said on Thursday, referring to Abdulbaset Sieda, the SNC leader. Kurdish observers, however, say Sieda, who has lived in exile for years, has no popularity among the Syrian Kurds. “Any such state there [in northern Syria] could not be seen as the Kurdish people’s own state. It would rather be a state of the terrorist PKK and the PYD,” Erdoğan said in the Kanal 24 interview.

In remarks published by French news agency AFP, a Kurdish member of the SNC said if his fighters could get help from Turkey, they would return the favor by hitting the PKK. “If we -- Kurds and Arabs -- join ranks, and are able to get military support from Turkey, we can fight not only the regime, but also the PKK,” said the Kurdish SNC commander, identified as Ubed Muse. “With armed support from Turkey, we can hit PKK bases inside Syria because we all know about their whereabouts and which regions they control.”

Erdoğan also told reporters that his government was against the disintegration of Syria along either sectarian or ethnic lines, a prospect that, some media commentators say, has emerged after Kurds began to run their own regions. Syria, according to such comments, may be divided into Kurdish, Alawite and Sunni Arab zones if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime falls and the Alawites retreat to Latakia to establish their own enclave there.

In his remarks on Wednesday, the prime minister claimed that the Syrian opposition groups are now taking steps to consolidate their victory and that they are in control of the region stretching from Aleppo to Turkey. Erdoğan also drew attention to the fact that any fragmentation in Syria would lead to a sectarian conflict.

Maintaining that Assad’s forces have now been squeezed in Damascus and to some extent in Latakia, Erdoğan indicated that “opposition forces are now enjoying a visible dominance. … It is not possible to estimate how many more casualties there will be and how long it could last.”

He also added that the regional and international powers that have supported the Syrian regime, including Iran and Russia, are going through an important change in their discourse in that they have also abandoned their hopes for Assad.

Since the Prime Mininster rightfully opposes cross border staging camps to attack Turkey, he most surely plans to shut down the joint NATO operation at Adana that is used as a staging point for attacks against the sovereign state of Syria.
Michael Collins
I'm shaking in my boots Erdoggggggghan.
Oh shut up and get lost, Mr. Bigmouth! Who cares what you might wanna permit or not. This is history, not some of your Neo-Ottoman dreams. Tiem for a Turkish spring!
Assad is good at chess
Turkey does not reserve the right to interfere into the internal affairs of another sovereign country. Kurds deserve autonomy and should Turkey continue create obstacles to divest the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds their most fundamental rights, soon it will have to cope with its own 25 million Kurdish conu...
it is a same words making by mr. erdogan. mr. erdogan declared smillar commitment when our plane hit by syria but no action has been taken..we shall be more offensive and more threatfull against syria and both their allies, otherwise I afraid that kurds state in syrıa will be establish under usa isr...
Turkey is in real trouble, errors of calculations of Erdogan has put Turkey in a very risky position the worst is that these errors are continuing! He should change his advisors immediately they are leading him to disaster.
Does Erdogan has the authority all around the world to warning everyone?
Türkish goverment made mistake by supporting all kind of rebelgroup and terror groups in Syria. therefore Kurdish teror group had an opurtunity to act and rule northen Syria.Barzani always double sdandard, tell something and do other thing.
@dimitrios macedon: i thought u are bancrupt in greece and greek cyprus. , where do u have the moneyfrom for your internet connection ? u should go to work and not waste your time in turkish forums.
state media concerned to post my comemnt: do u only bark dog or do u also bite? Welcome in censorship state russia, syria, oh sorry, i meant turkey.
Empty words - empty vessel. I agree with @Sid, 3 way partition may soon be a reality.
Kumuru for Breakfast
What would Mr Erdogan do if PKK kidnaps Turkish soldiers and then use the soldiers to exchange for murderers of regular Turkish citizens? If PKK sends suicide bombers to the Turkish border? If KK launches more than 4000 rockets at random targets in Turkey? If they hide in mosques, hospitals and chil...
Different angle
Mr. Erdogan can make any pronouncement he likes. The truth of the matter is that his ties to the US prevents him from acting on any of his threats. One recalls: 1. His thunderous promise over the murder of Turkish citizens by Israel. 2. His bombastic statements about downing the Turkish F4 fighte...
Hermann Helmholtz
turkey has been supporting the terrorists currently fighting inside Syria, karma comes back to bite everyone
Another threat from Turkey's regime. They seem to excel in foreign policy by constant veiled threats. This is why Turkey's foreign policy is unrespected in the region.
The same words if were said by the President, would have more effect, heavines. Because the PM were saying stuff like it for sometime over and over.
if you look at Erdogan's hand movements and gesture,Erdogan is singing a song by the supremes,stop in the name of love.
Orhan Cucukoglu
If BDP does not condemn the actions of Syrian Kurds, BDP will be responsible for encouraging the Syrian Kurds to attack Turkey. For such tacit approval of BDP towards PKK, Turkish judiciary has every right to ban the BDP as a political party. Such actions will make the Kurdish issue in Turkey more c...
Methinks any measure of freedom and equality gained by the Kurdish people is enough "provocation" for Turkish leaders to take steps in order to dispossess the Kurds. Where is Turkish morality and sense of justice when a handful Turks in Cyprus enjoy freedoms, rights and political status that Turks d...
Erdogan is trying to get the Kurds turn their backs on each other by asking Barzani ( you should not let wrong steps be taken )will not work as the Kurds are determined and will not give up their rights, PKK is not in Syria, its Kurds living in WEstern Kurdistan freeing their homeland.
Erdoğan has a mental problem. He became enemy of Israel (the only democracy in the region) and friend of Iran and Syria (two terrorist states). Now he is in conflict with Israel, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Kurds and the list continues. He is a dangerous man and hope that the Turks w...
David M (formerly David)
Hey PM. you cant do nothing to kurds. you should follow Assad on how he left kurdish land to kurds to rule. you always open your mouth way wider than it suposed to open but thigs are changing and use your dead brian to save your country. also at one point you said that kurds are your brother....
Bla bla bla bla.Turkish mentality.No guts at all.Turkey is about to be divided in three.
ardogan is a liers to the news he is riscking a war and the american and ardogan regime the othaman regime think he will be able to attack syrian people the syrian people will be able to fight for syria and turkey should give askandaroun back to syria and president of syria will remani as our presid...
fayze mere
We should at least be more calm , peaceful and giving during the holly Month of Ramezan
Zahra Niknafs
Kurds just want to be free. We want autonomy! Freedom does not imply partition. But if we don't get freedom, SEPARATION will be second best option. This goes for Kurds in TUrkey, Syria and Iran.
Erdogan, in Germany we say: Dog, are u biting or only barking! I would say that the turkish politicans from the AKP are only barking like small lap dog.
Why should Israel tolorate Hamas in Gaza? Oh, beacuse they were elected by the Palestinians, well the Germans elected Hitler, that did not make him any less a monster. Hamas is Turkey's best friend in the Arab world, -- there is an old saying, "you can judge a person by the company they keep."
I see, so you don't want provocation Mr. Sultagan, but you find it perfectly ok. to provoke other countries, like you did with your flotilla encouragement, an example of many of your provocations towards other countries. You're a racist fool, who likes to yell and rant too much.
Time to accept that the PKK is a power supported by a majority of Kurds in Syria and Turkey. Erdogan goes in in West Kurdistan (North Syria) or halt steps for Autonomy for Kurds in North Kurdistan (SE Turkey) will increase the hostilities to such a degree Turkey will experience similar uprisings as ...
This terrorist supporter is giving warning, LOL, what a hypocrite.
The problem is most of the Western countries especially United Stated of America cheating and using Turkey by putting PKK on their ‘’terrorist’ ’list. And Turkey thought if PKK going to be on the ‘’terrorist list’’ then Kurdish resistance will ended. But unlike what Turkey thought PKK struggle is al...
If we could only know what is the real Goal of the Friends of the Syrians Involvements in the Syrian Affairs. There is a saying that goes this way, A wise Enemy is better than Stupid Friend. No insult intended.
Zahra Niknafs
Mr Erdogan make up your mind are those who fight against Assad Regime Terrorists or freedom fighters? or only those who are kurds are terrorists even if they fight against Assad? want it or not a buffer zone in north west Syria will soon become a Kurdish Autonomous Region, you can build a perfect r...
The AKP has been assisting and expanding terrorism through its separatist and destructive policies. AKP's anti-Republic discourse results in the undermning of Turkey. AKP is the biggest supporter of PKK terrrorism.
What abouth in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean? Will Erdogan perhaps allow this? Or should the Kurds wait for their equal rights to be given when the next livable planet is discovered where they can have a country?
Shwan Hawezi
Erdoghan: take this advice from kurd friend of Turks : Quit while you are still ahead.Withen Syria ,Syrians decide for themselves ,No need for foriegn in put of any kind , specially now that Syrias`s existance at steak.....And if USA wants war let them do it....With their own soldiers tell ...
The problem is that Erdogan is supporter or terrorist groups in Syria.
dimitrios macedon
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