- Title: Turkey says it's not 'declaring war' in Syria, but ready to respond
- Date: 5th July 2017
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (JULY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, NUMAN KURTULMUS, ENTERING ROOM FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS KURTULMUS SITTING FOR INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, NUMAN KURTULMUS, SAYING: "This is not a declaration of war. We are not hiding the fact that we are prepared for potential threats against Turkey. Turkey is not the side that is making preparations (unilaterally). As a legitimate country, Turkey sees a serious terrorist movement on the other side and is taking necessary precautions to protect itself. It's a legitimate measure so that we can protect our independence. They shouldn't forget that the YPG (People's Protection Unit) and the PYD (Democratic Union Party) are the ones attacking Turkey and firing missiles again and again. We cannot remain silent against this. We will protect ourselves against these threats." KURTULMUS' HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, NUMAN KURTULMUS, SAYING: "If Turkey sees a YPG movement in northern Syria that is a threat to it, and realises this is a national threat, it will retaliate in kind. As a matter of fact, you see that fire from Afrin is answered in kind. This isn't a fantasy for us. This is not becoming a part of the war in the Middle East. On the contrary, it is an indispensable approach to protect Turkey's border security." KURTULMUS'S HAND (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, NUMAN KURTULMUS, SAYING: "How will you take back the weapons from terrorist organisations once you supply these arms to them? We know that these are very heavy and potent weapons. Even though the United States is our ally, they have formed more than a terrorist organisation there, they formed a small-scale army. And one of the main goals of this army is to move against Turkey. This is unacceptable. It doesn't fit friendship." KURTULMUS' HANDS KURTULMUS SITTING
- Embargoed: 19th July 2017 18:45
- Keywords: Turkey Syrian civil war Turkish concerns about Syrian Kurdish YPG militia outlawed separatist PKK U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish forces Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016OFZRD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Turkish military preparations in northwest Syria are a legitimate response to a threat from Kurdish forces in the Afrin region, and Turkey will retaliate against any hostile move, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told Reuters on Wednesday (July 5).
Kurtulmus was reacting to the head of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, who told Reuters that Turkish military deployments near Kurdish-held areas of northwestern Syria were a declaration of war, and could trigger clashes within days.
The YPG forms a major part of the U.S.-backed campaign to capture Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa. It also controls a pocket of territory in Afrin, about 200 km (125 miles) west of Raqqa, where tensions with Turkish forces have been mounting for weeks.
Ankara considers the YPG an extension of the outlawed Kurdish PKK group, which has waged an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the 1980s. Turkey was particularly angered by a U.S. decision to arm the YPG as it advanced on Raqqa, and has dismissed Washington's assurances that it will retrieve the weapons once Islamic State is defeated.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None