US weapons for the PKK/PYD terror group in Syria will be used to target Turkey — minister

The U.S. weapons for the PKK*1/PYD*2 terror group in Syria will be used to target Turkey once the fight against Daesh ends, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Thursday, as cited by Turkish Anadolu.

In remarks made in Georgia’s Batumi city, Canikli said: “The U.S. provided weapons that could arm nearly 40,000-50,000 men to fight Daesh,” according to Anadolu Agency (AA).

“Our ally, our friend the U.S. is conducting joint efforts against Daesh in the region with the YPG terror group.”

“The U.S. is doing this [for its fight against Daesh], but we know that the terror group’s final target is Turkey. Once [the fight against] Daesh is over, which it almost is, all of those weapons will point at Turkey.”

“They [U.S. officials] are saying that the weapons can be taken away but we have serious concerns for our security. Some of these weapons were seized from terrorists in Turkey.”

“There is a real confusion in the criteria and concept of fighting terror. There is a problem caused by not clarifying principles of fighting terror, similar to the Cold War era.”

“Turkey, as a NATO ally, is not comfortable. Our concerns are not being addressed entirely, not in this system.” Canikli added.

*1 The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK is an organization based in Turkey and Iraq. Since 1984 the PKK has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state, with the initial aim of achieving an independent Kurdish state, later changing it to a demand for equal rights and Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.

The group was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan. The PKK’s ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent, Marxist–Leninist state in the region, which was to be known as Kurdistan.

The initial reason given by the PKK for this was the oppression of Kurds in Turkey. By then, the use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned in Kurdish-inhabited areas.

In an attempt to deny their existence, the Turkish government categorized Kurds as “Mountain Turks” until 1991.

The words “Kurds”, “Kurdistan”, or “Kurdish” were officially banned by the Turkish government. Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life. Many who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested and imprisoned. The PKK was then formed, as part of a growing discontent over the suppression of Turkey’s ethnic Kurds, in an effort to establish linguistic, cultural, and political rights for Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish minority.

*2 The Democratic Union Party or PYD is a Kurdish democratic confederalist political party established on 20 September 2003 in northern Syria.

It is a founding member of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, and is described by the Carnegie Middle East Center as “one of the most important Kurdish opposition parties in Syria”.

It is the leading political party in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and its regions.

Chemical engineer Saleh Muslim became its chairman in 2010, and Asiyah Abdullah its co-chairwoman in June 2012.