Mar 25 2018

Faulty logic underpins West’s support for Kurds – Erdoğan spokesman

Calls for Western countries not to betray their Kurds partners in Syria are based on faulty logic, wrote Ibrahim Kalın, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesperson in an article appearing in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper.

Those who urge the West to continue supporting Kurdish groups in Syria only consider those who are PKK members to be Kurds, says Kalın, “What they do not want to understand or admit is that there are millions of Kurds who do not accept the PKK as anything other than a tool and pawn in proxy wars and power plays of the modern world.”

He also said that Western use of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the struggle against ISIS in Syria was a “great disservice and injustice to Kurds” and a “fatal mistake” on former U.S. President Barack Obama’s part.

Turkey considers the YPG and other Western backed Kurdish groups in Syria as terrorist organisations. U.S. support for these groups has led to continuing and severe tensions in its relations with Turkey. When, this January, the U.S. announced plans to create a border force in areas of Syria east of the Euphrates river valley controlled by these groups, Turkey responded with outrage and a few days later an launched an invasion of Syria’s north-western Afrin region, controlled by the same Kurdish groups.

Kalın praised Turkey’s Afrin operation in his article, comparing the lack of collateral damage caused by the operation to the extensive destruction meted out in operations to evict ISIS from Raqqa and Mosul. He also said that Turkey, having successfully taken control of Afrin, had no intention of changing the region’s demographic balance, which is predominantly Kurdish, pointing to Turkey’s record in a neighbouring region of Syria occupied in 2016, as support for his assertion.