By Cansu Dikme and Kubra Chohan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said Turkey did not want to have a visa crisis with the United States.
“They started the visa crisis and thanks to them, they have ended it themselves. Great. We did not want visa crisis [with the US]. It is now ended. That is what should have happened anyway,” Erdogan said.
His remarks came during the provincial congress of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in northern province of Kastamonu.
On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced the resumption of full visa services after nearly two months.
In a reciprocal move, Turkey also lifted restrictions on visa services for American citizens, according to the Turkish mission in the U.S.
On Oct. 8, the embassy suspended non-immigrant visas to Turkish nationals following the arrest of a local employee working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.
Erdogan drew parallel between the Daesh and YPG/PYD, saying beyond borders terrorist outfits’ names change but cruelty remains.
"We will do [to YPG/PYD] that we did to Daesh and we will definitely make our borders secure," Erdogan said.
He also emphasized Turkey’s determination to end the terror threat across the border in Syria.
“Everybody in the region should accept this fact. We will soon overpower this terrorist organization [Deash] in one way or another. Within this period, our demand is that nobody should encumber us,” Erdogan said.
He also criticized the U.S. arming of the PKK/PYD terrorist groups in the region.
“Since the day I was told that the organizations in the region would not be provided with the arms, not hundreds but more than 4,000 trucks loaded with weapons and armored carriers [were sent].
He said that the U.S. has also allocated funds to the terrorist organization from the next year’s budget.
The president said Turkey wants to collaborate with U.S. as it does with Iran and Russia in Syria, “The problem is that whether the U.S. wants to collaborate with us.”
“We are together with the U.S. in NATO, and strategic partners but you [U.S.] don’t cooperate with your strategic partner and you fight against a terrorist organization with the help of another [terrorist organization],” he concluded.
The PKK/PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years. Turkey considers the PKK, PYD, and YPG as one and the same.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU as well as Turkey -- resumed its armed campaign in July 2015. Since then, it has killed more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including women and children.
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