Davutoğlu says Turkey not against Kurdish autonomy in post-Assad Syria
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu answering question raised by the members of the press. (Photo: AA)
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said Turkey would not be opposed to a possible autonomous Kurdish region in Syria following the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, if all groups in the country can agree on it.
Davutoğlu's comments came as he spoke to reporters aboard a plane carrying a Turkish delegation to Myanmar on Thursday. Stating that Turkey is not against the improvement of Kurds' rights in Syria, the foreign minister recalled that he had met with leaders of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) during a visit he paid to Arbil.
“I told them, the leader of the SNC chairs the council as a Syrian Kurd. And you [KNC] are sitting here as Syrian Kurds. Sit down and come to terms. What we oppose is the threat of terrorism and the possibility of one of you claiming possession of somewhere. Elections should be held in Syria; a parliament should be formed that includes Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs. You can come together and say we will grant autonomy [to the Kurds]. This is up to you. We would not oppose that,” Davutoğlu said.
Turkey announced it strongly opposes the presence of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Syria's northern cities along the Turkish border following the withdrawal of Assad's forces from predominantly Kurdish-populated areas to fight opposition forces in Damascus and Aleppo. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier warned that Turkey will intervene if “terrorist formations” emerge along its border.
Davutoğlu also reiterated that Turkey will take all necessary steps against PKK threats in some northern Syrian cities, such as Afrin and Kobani, accusing the Syrian administration of aiding these groups. “Assad gave them weapons. Yes, this is not a fantasy. It is true. We have taken the necessary measures against this threat,” he added.