Ankara will not accept recognition of YPG, Turkish diplomat tells UN

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations told the UN on Friday that Turkey would not accept legitimisation of Syrian Kurdish militias that control large areas in the north and east of Syria, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

At a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, Turkish diplomat Rauf Alp Denktaş said that Turkey welcomed the findings of a report on violations by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The UN’s Children in Armed Conflict report said 313 children had been recruited by the YPG in the Syrian conflict. It also revealed that the group had used schools for military purposes.

“The YPG and PYD without a doubt use the same tactics as the Islamic State (ISIS), al Qaeda, the Nusra Front and the other terrorist organisations active in Syria, they should not be treated differently from these groups should be condemned at the same level as these groups”, Denktaş said.

“Turkey appreciates the UN’s documentation of the PKK’s crimes and infractions, but it will not accept any recognition of legitimisation of the group (by the UN)”, Denktaş continued.

Ankara considers the groups to be satellites of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984 and is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Last month, Syrian Kurdish commander Mazlum Kobane signed an agreement with the UN to stop recruiting child soldiers.

The agreement was met with outrage from Turkey, which said the agreement had been signed without the knowledge of UN members.

Anadolu Agency called the agreement “a sinister subterfuge meant to legitimize a bloody terrorist organization that has killed tens of thousands of people.”

The Turkish Armed Forces have been laying preparations to launch an operation across its southern border targeting the YPG and its multi-ethnic affiliate, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

While Ankara has maintained a hard line on these groups, which it equates with the PKK, they have earned international support for their role in the war against ISIS.

This year, the U.S. Congress opposed President Donald Trump’s call for a full troop withdrawal from Syria since this would leave Washington’s Kurdish allies exposed to Turkish attack.