Turkey will not allow ‘terror corridor’ to its south, Foreign Minister says
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Saturday Ankara would not allow for the formation of a “terror corridor” to its south, in response to meetings between Kurdish groups in Syria, Rudaw reported.
The Kurdistan National Council (ENKS), an umbrella group consisting of several Kurdish parties in the region, has been holding talks with the Syrian-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG)'s political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a part of efforts to build political unity.
Turkey sees the PYD as a terrorist organisation due to its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been fighting a three-decade-long war against the Turkish state.
“I told the ENKS that they should not make deals with the PKK/YPG. We used to have talks with and support them. In February, each of them told me how the PKK/YPG had killed their relatives and jailed their close friends or family members - some are still in jail. They said they did not and would not unite with this terrorist organisation,” Rudaw quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying.
"Our attitude is very clear. We do not allow a terror corridor to be created in the region, nor do we allow the terrorists to be legitimised," the minister said.
A Turkish offensive targeting the Syrian-Kurdish forces in northern Syria in October has prompted Syrian Kurds to seek efforts to unite Kurdish political movements in the region.
Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Kobani met with the ENKS in early November following a meeting between the SDF commander and Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil.