Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday accused the U.S. of not keeping its promises in northern Syria due to its engagement with the PKK/YPG terror group.
Mevlut Cavusoglu's remarks came at a joint press conference with his visiting Montenegrin counterpart Srdjan Darmanovic.
The first steps taken for a safe zone in northern Syria with the U.S., including establishment of a joint operations center was "a good start," Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey was clear about the warnings.
"Why did we need these warnings? Because, unfortunately the U.S. has failed to keep its promise, including Manbij roadmap, due to its engagement with this [PKK/YPG] terrorist organization, and has neglected this roadmap."
Cavusoglu described the U.S. position in the east of Euphrates River as "cosmetic".
"The steps taken or said to have been taken are cosmetic steps," he said.
- US continue stalking process
"We see that the U.S. tends to enter a stalking process and also trying to make Turkey to get used to this stalking process, however, our position on this issue is very clear," said Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu said clearing the northern Syria off these terror groups "is a security concern for Turkey" and stressed that the U.S. was sustaining this stalking process with cosmetic steps and continuing to cement its engagement by supporting the terror groups.
On Sept. 8, Turkey and the U.S. military personnel completed the first joint ground patrol for the establishment of a safe zone east of Euphrates in Syria.
The patrol was backed by unmanned air vehicles and helicopters.
On Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.
The agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address Turkey's security concerns, including clearing the zone of the terrorist YPG/PKK, a group the U.S. has sometimes been allied with, over Turkey’s objections.
The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of terror group PKK, which has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women and infants, for more than 30 years.
Syria has just emerged from a devastating civil war that began in 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN figures.
- Mothers holding sit-in protest in SE Turkey
Cavusoglu said parents whose children were abducted by the PKK terror group to the mountains had been silent until today because of the terror group and its supporters' oppression.
"But the hearts of these mothers can't stand to this situation and we see and feel their outcry here. The number of families who want their children back from the HDP is rising," said Cavsuoglu.
"We told them that 'You are only trying to defend the rights of the PKK. You are trying to defend the rights of the YPG in Syria. We did not even hear the voice of 350,000 Syrian Kurds. Why don't you hear the voices of families who want their children from the [PKK] terrorist organization'," said Cavusoglu referring to the European and Western countries, "showing themselves as the advocates of the Kurdish community."
A total of 17 mothers have been staging a sit-in protest outside the provincial office of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) -- long accused by the government of having links to the PKK terror group -- in Diyarbakir.
On Sept. 3, Fevziye Cetinkaya, a mother, launched the sit-in protest against alleged recruitment of her teenage son by the PKK.
Cetinkaya said her 17-year-old son had joined the ranks of the PKK terror group through members of HDP.
On the same day, three more mothers -- who said their children were kidnapped by the PKK affiliates -- joined the protest with Cetinkaya, and the number of protesting families have been rising since then.
On Saturday, Necla Cur and her husband Bedirhan Cur from eastern Agri province, and Guzide Demir from Diyarbakir province also joined the protest in order to raise their voice to save their children from the hands of the terror group.
Last month, Hacire Akar, another mother, staged a similar protest near the opposition party's office. Her son returned home a few days later giving hope to a number of mothers who suffer the same circumstances.
By Sibel Morrow