Turkey, World

Turkey asks US if it is on side of terrorists or allies

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu in Canada says: Turkey to take own measures against terror groups, regardless of who backs them

Turkey asks US if it is on side of terrorists or allies

By Hakan Copur and Seyit Aydogan


Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday criticized the recently announced plan of the U.S. to form a so-called border army led by the terrorist PKK/PYD group in Syria.

Speaking to journalists in Canada's Vancouver city, Cavusoglu said: "The U.S. must clarify which side it is on, whether it chooses to be with its allies or terror groups?"

His remarks came following an announcement made by the U.S.-led international coalition against Daesh on Sunday that it would establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF -- the U.S.-backed group, largely controlled and manned by the PKK/PYD terrorist organization in Syria.

The Turkish foreign minister warned: "We will take our own measures [against terror groups]. Regardless of who backs them; whether it is the U.S. or other countries, it doesn't matter to us."

About a possible Afrin operation in Syria, he said Turkey will fight against the PYD terrorists in Syria just like it did against the PKK.

Turkey has long protested the U.S. support for the PKK/PYD terror group, while Washington has brushed off these criticisms, saying it needs the terror group’s help to fight against Daesh in Syria.

The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

The PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 security forces and civilians -- including more than 1,200 since July 2015.

‘Turkey key for global peace’

Also on Monday, Cavusoglu attended the inauguration ceremony of the Turkish Consulate General in Vancouver, Canada.

He said Turkey was a key player for achieving world peace and tolerance. 

"Turkey will continue to play a significant role for peace and prosperity around the world," he added. 

Referring to the regional crisis in the Middle East, he said Turkey had been doing its best to help preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya.

Cavusoglu is currently in Canada to attend the Vancouver Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula, which will demonstrate solidarity against the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea. 

Among the countries attending are Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Regarding bilateral relations between Canada and Turkey, Cavusoglu said the two countries were "good allies".

Pointing to the presence of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Canada, the minister called on Turkish citizens in the country to inform local authorities about the nature of the terrorist group.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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