Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned today that Turkey will never approve any US proposal to transfer weaponry to the PKK, YPG and other Syrian Kurdish fighters.
Erdogan noted that the PKK is considered a terrorist organization in both Turkey and the US, and that he considered the PYD (the YPG’s political wing) equivalent to the PKK as well.
He went on to say he was surprised that the US would “talk openly and expect us to say yes to such a support to a terrorist organization.” The US State Department met with them last week.
It’s not an easy choice for the Turkish government, which is increasingly opposed to the ISIS presence along its border, but sees bolstering Kurdish factions that span both Syria and Turkey as a long-term risk for them.
Turkey has been fighting the PKK and other Kurdish factions off and on for over 30 years now, and those groups have never had any real imprimatur or armament from any foreign powers before. If those groups are suddenly awash in US arms, they may find a new war on Turkey every bit as appealing as the war on ISIS.