Turkey vetoed inclusion of Syrian Kurds in constitutional committee - official

Turkey has vetoed the representation of Syrian Kurds on the constitutional committee in charge of drafting a new Syrian constitution, the co-chair of Syrian Democratic Council Representation in the United States said. 

The committee, which is set to include 150 people, 50 from the Syrian government, 50 from the opposition, and a further 50 chosen by the UN and members of Syrian civil society, was announced last week by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and will meet in Geneva on Oct. 30. 

"Few Syrian Kurds and Syriacs are chosen as members of Syrian opposition. Turkey trying to repeat the 100 year old Lozan agreement and rob minorities their rights in Syria not only in Turkey,’’ Bassam Ishak wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Kurdish-led groups in Syria have also come out in criticism of the committee, citing the exclusion of Kurdish voices.

"Having a couple of Kurds from NE Syria who are allied with Damascus or the opposition doesn’t mean Kurds are represented in the committee,’’ spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Musafa Bali said on Twitter.

The northeast Syria administration has been totally left out of the process, he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plans to create a “safe zone” in northern Syrian territory controlled by the SDF. Ankara sees the SDF as an existential threat due to its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for over three decades.