Close

Forgot your password?

Choose a newsletter




Premium access provided by ENSTA

Your premium access provided by ENSTA

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by NRC Q

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to NRC Q.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by EM-LYON

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to EM-LYON.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Goldsmiths

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Goldsmiths.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MinnPost

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 6 months thanks to MinnPost.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Expatica

You've been given FREE premium access to Worldcrunch

Enter your email to begin

Worldcrunch

The Kurdish Question Raises Stakes In Turkey-Syria Tensions

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan targets PKK strongholds along the Syrian border after tensions last month sparked by Syria's shooting down of a Turkish military jet. The move is part of a longstanding conflict over Kurdish minorities who live in both countries.

Article illustrative image Partner logo In the Syrian border town of Qamishli, a protester with a Kurdish and Syrian rebel flag (Freedom House)

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced increased measures to counter the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria, which he says has moved to seize control of a number of villages along the Syria-Turkey border.

“In the north, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has allotted five provinces to the Kurds, to the terrorist organization,” Erdogan said, speaking to top civilian and military officials at a Wednesday security summit.  “Of course Turkey will not look warmly on the PKK’s offshoot in Syria, the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PYD). The activities of the separatist terrorist organization in our country and in neighboring countries must been discussed.”

This was the first time Erdogan has mentioned the presence of the PKK in Syria. In the late 1990s, Turkey and Syria edged to the brink of war because of Damascus’ support of the PKK. The dispute ended when Syria stopped backing the *terrorist organization.

During the summit, Erdogan was asked by a journalist if Turkey would strike fleeing rebels if they attack on Turkish soil, to which Erdogan responded  “That’s not even a matter of discussion, it is a given. That is the objective. That is what we have been doing and will continue to do in Iraq.” 

Turkish security forces killed at least 15 PKK terrorists in a raid near the country's border with Iraq on Tuesday, after tracking them with drones and attacking them with helicopters and ground forces.

Turkey may beef up its military presence along the Syrian border, where the PYD and PKK are most active. Turkish troop presence had already increased after Syria downed a Turkish fighter jet last month.

Eye on Qamishli

Turkey will focus operations on the small border town of Qamishli, where the PYD are most active. The PYD is preparing to take control of the town amid reports that the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has sent Syrian Kurds to northern Syria after training them for armed conflict. Video recordings of men in military uniform, believed to be crossing the Syrian border from northern Iraq, have increased concerns in Ankara. But the KRG has denied the reports. 

Meanwhile, the Turkish military has deployed teams trained in dealing with chemical weapon attacks to the Syrian Border. The order comes after Damascus threatened it would use such weapons, should it be attacked by another country. 

**This is a digest item, not a direct translation.

*Worldcrunch editorial note: In the Turkish media, the PKK is routinely referred to as a terrorist organization.

 

 

Sign up for our Worldcrunch Weekly newsletter now


Be a part of the conversation. Click to show comments
About this article source Website: http://www.radikal.com.tr/

Radikal ("Radical") is an influential daily based in Istanbul and owned by Aydin Dogan. Founded in 1997, it stands out amongst other newspapers in Turkey for its arts and culture coverage, as well as its essays and op-ed pieces.

Worldcrunch brings top stories from the world's best news sources into English for the first time.

- Find out how we work
- Stay connected with our newsletter
- Try premium access for just $0.99

Want to get in touch or report a bug? Find us at info@worldcrunch.com

Load More Stories

Unlimited access to exclusive journalism, the best world news source across all your devices

Subscribe Now Photo of Worldcrunch on different devices

Your premium access to Worldcrunch is provided by

University of Central Lancashire

Please register to begin


By registering you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.