In an angry tirade starting with “Ey America!” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Washington of causing the bloodbath in Syria by not recognizing the Kurdish forces fighting against Islamic State in the region as terrorists.
Bringing a new level of pressure to bear on its NATO ally, the Turkish president questioned Washington’s commitment as a fellow coalition member.
“Oh America! I told you many times, you are [either] beside us, or all of these terrorist organizations. You haven’t had a good grasp of them, and that is why the region has turned into the sea of blood,” Erdogan said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which the US does not recognize as terror groups.
“We have written proof! We tell the Americans ‘it’s a terror group.’ But the Americans stand up and say ‘no we don’t see them as terror groups,’” he added. “Allies don’t tell each other my enemy’s enemy is my friend. You must have principles. But there are no principles here.”
Erdogan’s remarks come amid an escalated diplomatic rift between the US and Turkey over their respective goals in Syria, where both say they are fighting Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL, Daesh).
State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Monday that “Kurdish fighters have been some of the most successful in going after Daesh inside Syria,” adding the US does not view the Kurdish militia as a terrorist organization. As to the disagreement over the group with Ankara, Kirby said “even the best of friends aren’t going to agree on everything.”
Turkey summoned the US ambassador in Ankara in response to Washington’s announcement.
The State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, responded to Erdogan’s comments on Wednesday, largely reiterating the US stance, but also trying to differentiate between Kurdish militant groups.
“We view the PKK as a terrorist organization, you know, but we make a clear delineation between the PKK and the YPG. We believe the YPG is focused thus far on combating Daesh in Syria, and we’ve supported them in that effort,” he said at a briefing.
Responding to a question by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan, Toner added “we understand their [Turkey’s] concerns, the threat that they feel from the PKK and, frankly, from the YPG, we disagree on the YPG.”
However, the issue of the Kurdish fighters in Syria is not the only topic causing a row between the two countries. Another major disconnect is the prospect of Turkey conducting a unilateral military intervention in Syria, to which Ankara has been hinting.
Earlier this week, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to return a “historical debt” to Turkey’s “Aleppo brothers” who helped defend the country in the early 20th century.
“We will return our historic debt. At one time, our brothers from Aleppo defended our cities of Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, now we will defend the heroic Aleppo. All of Turkey stands behind its defenders,” Davutoglu said at a meeting of the Party of Justice and Development parliamentary faction, which he heads.
Apparently, it is the latest powerful offensive of Syrian government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad that triggered the remarks, not the ongoing insurgency of Islamic State. Aleppo is presently occupied by Syrian rebels and Damascus has made it clear that it now aims to retake both that key city and the Syrian-Turkish border, which terrorist groups have been using to bring in fresh arms supplies and smuggle out stolen oil.
Meanwhile, the Kurds have emerged as a separate formidable force in the border region, as they simultaneously fight IS and seek more autonomy from Syria. The YPG took full control of the IS-besieged town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border late last June. The victory became a powerful symbol of the Kurdish fight against IS in the area. Turkey, however, has repeatedly been blamed for targeting those Kurdish militant targets in the border region rather than IS. […]
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Now where have I heard that statement about “You are either with us – or with the terrorists” – before?
Wasn’t it someone called Bush after 911 who then went on to illegally invade and largely destroy Iraq?
The difference between then and now – which the bonehead Erdogan does not get – is that Russia has an interest now.
We all know the principal supporters of terrorists in that part of the world are the extended Erdogan family.
Erdogan is ticked off primarily because his family’s corrupt financial interests are being affected.
He has the intellectual stupidity to think he can just tear up Sykes-Picot and restore the former Ottoman Empire.
That is why his quisling Prime Minister is making references to a bygone Ottoman era.
They just don’t get it that the past is the past is the past – and no one can bring it back.
Not even fundamentalist Muslims like Erdogan and his hateful crew who currently control poor Turkey.
Erdoghan’s future will last as long as those terrorists he and his government sponsors in Syria .He knows it
Are you talking about this fellow? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-23kmhc3P8U
Funnily enough, found this video on the webpage about Swiss media I mentioned below.
Yes, that’s the feller. The blatant liar and traitor who caused US finances to plunge trillions of dollars into debt and who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousand, possibly millions by now, of Iraqis and others.
For better or worse Aleppo is in Syria, Syria is recognised as an independent republic,Syrians voted for Mr Assad. Those that forcibly interfere with the internal policies of a country are usually seen as invaders. This holds true for Turkey, US, UK and all other countries, why not Syria??? It appears such logic is completely lost upon the media.
Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.
Are you the Judean People’s Front?
Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
Interesting Swiss study on NATO vs. Russian propaganda in their media:
Apparently Swiss media hasn’t used the word “propaganda” even once in connection with US or NATO positions. The study argues that even though Switzerland is not part of NATO, the country is so dependent on the military organization and its members that they simply can’t afford to question or critize its narrative…
Fascinating results. Thank-you for the link.
I guess the UK’s performance on the very same Principles outlined by Ponsonby-Morelli would be equal or worse than those of the Swiss in general (and certainly the Guardian!). It would be interesting to compare the two.
Well, Switzerland is completely surrounded by NATO, isn’t it? Historically, the Swiss guaranteed their independence by co-operating/collaborating with whoever dominated Europe at the moment; in other words, by not being TOO independent. Notice how, over the last few years, they have gotten rid of so many of their banking secrecy laws to please the US. That can’t possibly be in Switzerland’s commercial interest, now can it?
Yes, great source. Thanks for the link.
Interesting study of the Swiss media. Thank you for this. I note that they too have a concentrated media ownership pattern, just as is found in Britain and the US. This is why it is so easy for a few to get together to deliberately distort the reporting of events, especially when those events are taking place thousands of miles away. We should be aware that a holier-than-thou attitude towards the Swiss on this one issue is probably not very wise, as we all have mass media which are being manipulated by powerful interests. These days, I am highly skeptical about any reports that come from the BBC. They have come more and more under the Conservative thumb in the run-up to getting their licence renewed. They run scared of the zionist lobby in Britain and invariably always file reports acceptable to Tel Aviv. Trust the mass media? Don’t make me laugh……..or cry!