Turkey Warns Against Syrian Kurdish Autonomy

Recent Victories Over al-Qaeda Not Sitting Well With Turkish Govt

In a televised address today, Turkish President Abdullah Gul condemned the recent establishment of an interim government in Syrian Kurdistan, insisting Turkey would never recognize Syrian Kurdish autonomy under any circumstances.

“We cannot allow Syria, which is faced with major chaos, to disintegrate,” Gul noted. The Kurdish declaration came after several major military victories by Kurdish militias over al-Qaeda.

The Turkish government’s decision to back Syria’s rebellion came in large part with an eye toward crushing secessionist sentiment in Syrian Kurdistan, with a hope that Sunni Arab nationalist would crack down more seriously on the Kurds than the Assad government had. Instead, the war has torn Syria into myriad spheres of influence, with the Kurds carving out de facto independence in their territory.

While the move has clearly backfired, the Turkish government has not changed its policy, and continues to back the rebellion in general, even as al-Qaeda takes a greater hold over it and fuels the establishment of Kurdish militias to counter term.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.