Turkey Summons U.S. Envoy Over Comments on Kurdish PYD in Syria

State Department Spokesman John Kirby, pictured on January 6. (Source: AFP/File)
State Department Spokesman John Kirby, pictured on January 6. (Source: AFP/File)

State Department Spokesman John Kirby, pictured on January 6. (Source: AFP/File)

ANKARA (Reuters) — Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador to express its displeasure on Tuesday after a State Department spokesman said Washington did not regard Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.

Tensions between the two NATO allies have flared over the PYD, which Washington supports in its struggle against ISIS militants in Syria.

Ankara sees it as a sister of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), with which it has been embroiled in fierce fighting in southeast Turkey since their decades-old conflict reignited last July. The PKK is classed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Asked about the difference in opinion with Turkey on Monday, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said: “This is not a new concern, as I said, that the Turks have proffered. And we don’t, as you know, recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization.”

Turkey fears advances by Kurdish YPG militia, backed by the PYD, on the Syrian side of the two countries’ 900 km (560-mile) border will fuel separatist ambitions among its own Kurds.

It has been conducting a violent crackdown on the PKK in the southeast, with hundreds of militants, security force members and civilians killed.

President Tayyip Erdogan has previously hinted that Turkey may conduct military operations in Syria to halt the YPG’s advance.


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  1. vartan said:

    Turkey is the greatest supporter of terrorism in the region , Erdegan is a fanatic muslim and supporter of ISIS , and acts like he is the good ally to fight against ISIS . . THE QUESTION IS WHEN US WILL COME TO ITS SENSES THAT TURKEY IS NOT A THRUSTWORTY PARTNER OR ALLY…… WHEN ?.

  2. zarkim said:

    NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg is a DICTATOR.
    Please watch the Video.
    A female Journalist asked him to show proof of Russia’s wrong doing. Mr Stoltenberg said “I do not have to show proof”. The female Journalist was not fooled by this JOKER.
    According to the International law, any wrong doing must be proven (Proof beyond a reasonable doubt). However this man is breaking a basic law.
    Mr Stoltenberg’s character is very confusing to me. He does not act like a normal Norwegian! He acts more like an Anglo-Saxon. He acts more like an incompetent SOLDIER than a general!
    “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are”. Mr Stoltenberg is friends with ERDOGAN. Together they flock.
    Mr Stoltenberg must go to Turkey to meet the real TERRORISTS.
    Turkish terrorists that attacked Kesab were encouraged by Americans/allies and NATO including ISRAEL. ISIS exists because of Americans and their allies. ISIS’s stronghold/nest is in Turkey.
    Americans funded, armed and encouraged Turkey to allow these terrorists to get stronger, enter Syria/Iraq and kill/kidnap innocent civilians. Most of these terrorists’ weapons were supplies by US Administration and allies. Aiding and abetting: Americans have helped (And still do) Turkey Loot Iraq/Syira including stealing oil.

      • Buffalo Bill said:

        Yes I agree with you.
        John Kirby and Jens Stoltenberg have similarities.
        They are both a WASTE OF NATO SPACE!

        • zarkim said:

          Thanks Bill. Long-time no see.
          How is Dizzy the buffalo?
          Is there a NATO air SPACE? That’s news to me, Bill!

  3. Raffi said:

    PYD is a liberator organization and not a Terrorist Organization, same like the French Resistance