Turkey won't allow "terrorist" groups at
Syria border: FM
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on
Friday Turkey would not allow what he called
"terrorist" groups like the separatist Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK) or al Qaeda to establish a
presence in Syrian Kurdish region near the Turkish
border. Photo: Reuters
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July 27, 2012
ISTANBUL,— Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu said on Friday Turkey would not allow what
he called "terrorist" groups like the separatist
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or al Qaeda to
establish a presence in Syrian Kurdish region near
the Turkish border.
Davutoglu did not specify what steps Turkey could
take to prevent activities by such groups along its
911-km (566-mile) frontier with Syria, which is in
the throes of 16-month crackdown on a popular
uprising that has claimed 17,000 lives.
"We will not permit a terrorist group, whether it is
the PKK or al Qaeda, to set up at our border. This
has nothing to do with ethnicity," Davutoglu said in
a live interview with Kanal 24 television channel.
"No one should wait for Turkey to take unnecessary
risks, no matter what the situation is. But if there
is a terrorist structure targeting our border
security, taking measures is our right and our
duty," he said.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that
Turkey could act against a "terrorist" organization
in northern Syria if it perceived it as a threat --
a warning to Kurdish militants believed to be active
in the region.
Erdogan's talk of a possible intervention marked a
new escalation in tensions between Turkey and Syria,www.ekurd.net
at odds since President Bashar al-Assad failed to
heed Ankara's calls to quit to make way for a
"We want the transition in Syria to be complete as
soon as possible," Davutoglu said.
The comments from Erdogan and Davutoglu also
indicate the government's concern about the growing
influence of Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD),
which is linked with the PKK.
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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