Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Washington for not acknowledging Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) as an extremist organisation.
Last year, US-led airstrikes helped the party’s military wing — the YPG —battle against ISIL in the border town of Kobani.
Erdogan asked the US: “How can we trust you? Is it me that is your partner or is it the terrorists in Kobani?”
He added: “Oh, America. You don’t need to tell us about the PKK, PYD or YPG organisations. We know them very well. We know ISIL and those groups. You haven’t had a (good) grasp of the nature of them before now, and that’s why the region is a sea of blood.”
He added that Washington’s inability to grasp Ankara’s view of the PYD has created a domestic security issue for Turkey.
Ankara considers the party — and by default the military YPG — a terrorist organisation because of its affiliations with Turkey’s PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party — also listed as a terrorist organisation in Turkey and by NATO and the European Union.
The PKK has carried out a violent, three-decade fight for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s south east.
Most recently, one person died after a protest in Diyarbakir against government-imposed clashes in the region turned violent.