U.S. plan to separate YPG from PKK won't fool Turkey - columnist

Washington's recent decision to offer rewards for information leading to three senior leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), although seemingly creating goodwill in Ankara, is a move indicating U.S. policy towards the People’s Protection Units (YPG) hasn't changed at all, wrote Sadettin Duran in his column for pro-government Daily Sabah.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of PKK, which has been fighting inside Turkey for more than 30 years, while YPG forms the backbone of U.S. backed forces in Syria fighting against the Islamic State.

‘’Despite making all kinds of promises to Turkey, President Trump has failed to reverse his predecessor's partnership with the YPG militants. U.S. officials have been trying for years to clearly separate the YPG from the PKK to transform it into an American proxy on the ground,’’ he said.

The United States’ step this week to offer rewards for the PKK’s  top names - Murat Karayılan, Cemil Bayık and Duran Kalkan -  one could argue, is a goodwill gesture against the backdrop of the Turkey-U.S. rapprochement that started with the release of Andrew Brunson by the Turks, Duran wrote. 

However, U.S. officials have been trying for years to clearly separate the YPG from the PKK to transform it into an American proxy on the ground, the columnist stressed, wanting desperately to prevent the YPG from being branded as a terrorist organization by severing its ties from the PKK.

‘’In addition to legitimizing the group, this policy would made it possible for YPG militants to have a seat at the negotiating table,’’ Duran wrote, noting that by separating the YPG from the PKK,  ‘’the YPG can pretend to be the legitimate representative of Syrian Kurds.’’

Pointing out that Ankara will never allow the YPG to represent Syrian Kurds at the negotiating table, Duran underscored that Turks would rather look for ways to ''eliminate the PKK/YPG presence in northern Syria,'' even if it means a taking on a decades-long mission.

https://www.dailysabah.com/columns/duran-burhanettin/2018/11/10/washingtons-plan-to-separate-ypg-from-pkk-wont-fool-anyone-in-turkey