US cautions Turkey against intervention in
August 3, 2012
WASHINGTON/ANKARA, — The Turkish military
commenced military maneuvers along its border with
Syria on Wednesday, in what appears to be an effort
aimed at deterring the emergence of a Kurdish entity
in Syrian Kurdistan in northern Syria led by the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Meanwhile,
the United States has cautioned against any military
intervention in the country, Today’s Zaman reported.
The military drills involving
and armored military vehicles are under way in seven
different locations near the border, including the
Suruç, Akçakale and Ceylanpınar districts of the
province of Şanlıurfa as well as in the border
provinces of Kilis, Hatay and Mardin in Turkey's
Kurdish region (Northern Kurdistan).
The maneuvers follow a series of reinforcements made
along the border, which came in the wake of seizures
made by Kurdish groups, including the Syrian PKK-affiliate
Democratic Union Party (PYD), of several Kurdish
cities in Syrian Kurdistan along the Turkish border
over the past two weeks.
Turkey has repeatedly bombed and sent troops into
parts of semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq's
north where the PKK has camps. But there has been no
indication that Turkish troops would cross the
border with Syria, although NATO-member Turkey has
warned any attack emanating from a PKK presence in
Syrian Kurdistan could give the country reason to
The United States, Turkey’s NATO ally, on the other
hand, appears to be reluctant towards any Turkish
intervention in Syria. When asked about the recent
Turkish military build-up along the Syrian border,
Patrick Ventrell, director of the Press Office at
the US State Department, said further militarization
of the situation should be avoided.
“We are obviously in discussion with our Turkish
ally constantly on Syria. We continue to think that
we don’t want to further militarize the situation.
We obviously understand that they have their
national security interests as well, but we don’t
think that further militarization right now is the
way to go,” he said at a press conference on
Ventrell said the Syrian opposition continued to
“gain ground in Syria and has started to hold
“I don’t think we are at a point where we are going
to see -- or we are hearing greater calls for an
immediate external military operations into Syria,”
Further asked if the US is delivering any advice to
Turkey, Ventrell said: “The public message that I
said here, that we don’t want and don’t think that
further militarization is the way to go right now,
is the same thing that we’re delivering in private.”
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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