As a result, he said NATO ally United States should not expect Turkey to approve its support for the PYD, whose armed wing has been struggling to defend the Syrian border town of Kobani against militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS).
“At the moment, the PYD is equal with the PKK for us. It is also a terrorist organization. It would be very wrong for America – with whom we are and allies and who we are together with in NATO – to expect us to say ‘yes’ after openly announcing such support for a terrorist organization. It cannot expect such a thing from us and we cannot say ‘yes’ to such a thing either,” Erdogan was quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency as saying on Oct. 19.
He also said the U.S.’s demands regarding the use of the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey are not yet clear, while he did not exclude the possibility of giving an affirmative response to Washington if they eventually find the demands appropriate.
“The Incirlik issue is a separate issue. What are they asking for with regard to Incirlik? That’s not clear yet. If there is something we deem appropriate, we would discuss it with our security forces and we would say ‘yes.’ But if it is not appropriate, then saying ‘yes’ is not possible for us either,” Erdogan added.
According to Hurriyet daily his remarks came as the idea of supplying arms to the PYD for its fight against ISgradually finds more support in the international arena.
Last week, the U.S. State Department made public that a State Department official held direct talks for the first time in the first half of October with a Syrian Kurdish group involved in the fight against IS in Syria, including in the besieged town of Kobani.
Following the talks, there was an upsurge in U.S. air strikes on IS forces besieging the town, and Kurdish spokespersons said their forces were giving coordinates of the militants’ positions to the U.S.