Davutoglu says Turkey not against Kurdish
autonomy in post-Assad Syria
August 10, 2012
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu answering
question raised by the members of the press Photo:
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ANKARA,— Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoğlu has said Turkey would not be opposed to a
possible autonomous Kurdish region in Syria [Syrian
Kurdistan] following the fall of Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad, if all groups in the country can
agree on it, Turkish Todays Zaman reported.
Davutoğlu's comments came as he spoke to reporters
aboard a plane carrying a Turkish delegation to
Myanmar on Thursday. Stating that Turkey is not
against the improvement of Kurds' rights in Syria,
the foreign minister recalled that he had met with
leaders of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the
Kurdish National Council (KNC) during a visit he
paid to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region in
“I told them, the leader of the SNC chairs the
council as a Syrian Kurd. And you [KNC] are sitting
here as Syrian Kurds. Sit down and come to terms.
What we oppose is the threat of terrorism and the
possibility of one of you claiming possession of
somewhere. Elections should be held in Syria; a
parliament should be formed that includes Kurds,www.ekurd.net
Turkmens and Arabs. You can come together and say we
will grant autonomy [to the Kurds]. This is up to
you. We would not oppose that,” Davutoğlu said.
Turkey announced it strongly opposes the presence of
the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in
Syria's northern Kurdish cities along the Turkish
border following the withdrawal of Assad's forces
from predominantly Kurdish-populated areas to fight
opposition forces in Damascus and Aleppo. Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier warned that
Turkey will intervene if “terrorist formations”
emerge along its border.
Davutoğlu also reiterated that Turkey will take all
necessary steps against PKK threats in some northern
Syrian Kurdish cities, such as Afrin and Kobane,
accusing the Syrian administration of aiding these
groups. “Assad gave them weapons. Yes, this is not a
fantasy. It is true. We have taken the necessary
measures against this threat,” he added.
Over 20 million Kurds live in Turkey (northern
Kurdistan). Estimated to over 12 million Kurds who
live in Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). Nearly 3 million
Kurds live in Syria (Western Kurdistan). 4 million
Kurds live in Iraq (Southern Kurdistan).
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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