Turkey

Turkish FM criticizes US for supporting YPG/PYD

Turkey deserves better from the United States, says Mevlut Cavusoglu in Washington Post

12.01.2017
Turkish FM criticizes US for supporting YPG/PYD

ANKARA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized the U.S. for its support of the YPG/PYD terror organizations, in an opinion piece he wrote for the Washington Post on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu discussed Turkey-U.S. relations in the article titled: "Turkish foreign minister: Turkey deserves better from the United States".

He said the main source for "disillusionment" in Turkish public opinion and politics was the U.S. support for the terror organizations.

"A major reason is the United States’ continued insistence in Syria of working with a terrorist organization -- YPG/PYD -- which, like its conjoined twin, the PKK, is known to conduct and support incessant and barbaric terrorist attacks inside Turkey," he said.

The U.S., EU, and Turkey have designated the PKK as a terror group. According to Turkey, the YPG and PYD are terrorist organizations, too, as they are affiliates of the PKK. However, the U.S. considers YPG/PYD a "reliable partner" on the ground in Syria and continues to support them in the field.

The minister confirmed that the Turkey-U.S. bilateral relationship was under severe strain.

"To restore confidence with partners, a good place for the United States to begin is with Turkey, which is a front-line state with regard to all the threats in question," the minister said.

Cavusoglu evoked the difficult context with "grim" and "heinous" attacks hitting Turkey and elsewhere in Europe.

"As a start, we must first reinvigorate solidarity, cohesion and trust among allies and partners," he said. "This is of paramount importance if we are to capitalize on the momentum to defeat Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and begin to address the dynamics that are tearing Syria and Iraq apart, curb the massive flow of illegal migration, and show our adversaries that we are serious when we say certain lines must not be crossed."

Cavusoglu also criticized what he considered the late U.S. condemnation of the July 15 coup attempt, which left at least 248 people martyred and more than 2,000 injured.

"In the aftermath of the July 15 terrorist coup attempt, it took the United States four days to condemn the botched plot and 40 days to send a high-level representative to display solidarity," he said.

"It is no secret that, due in large part to the lack of U.S. focus on the issues that are poisoning our relations, Turks are more dubious than ever about the value of our alliance," he adds. "But anti-Americanism in Turkey has never been of a radical nature and bears more resemblance to the ideological strands seen in Europe, and as such is not without remedy."

However, Cavusoglu insisted on longstanding ties between the countries.

"Turkey and the United States, crucial NATO allies at the two geopolitical ends of an enduring transatlantic alliance, have overcome many threats to our collective security and defense," Cavusoglu said.

According to Turkey’s government, Gulen and his Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) orchestrated the attempted coup.

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

In the wake of the July coup attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, justice system and the education sector. 

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