Turkey’s Different Views On PYD won’t Harm US-Turkey Relations, Says Turkish FM
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoğlu said that diverging views between Ankara and Washington over the nature and status of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) will not fundamentally harm their longstanding relationship.
“Not every two countries can be liked minded on every issue,” Çavusoğlu told Voice of America after giving a lecture at George Washington University. “For example, they [the Americans] think differently, we think differently, but we will not fall out because we have differing thoughts.”
“We are two significant partners and we have common targets but we can think differently on some topics. When we express our thoughts, then it is perceived as though there is a problem between the two countries,” he went on to elaborate.
Çavusğlu was nevertheless adamant in upholding the Turkish view that the PYD and its allied Peoples Protection Units (YPG) are inextricably linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which Turkey and the US have long designated to be a terrorist organization. However the US has sought to distinguish them since the PYD and YPG have been invaluable in their war against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
“Why do we need to convince each other that we think differently; we have proof in our hand. We give [the Americans] the documents and information that the PYD/YPG is no different than the PKK,” Çavusoğlu explained. “Therefore, there is no deterioration in the relations between the US and Turkey. On the contrary, our strategic partnership marks even more importance.