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Turkey now demands 10 years for pro-Kurdish HDP co-chairperson

15 February 2018

Ankara is riled over Washington's support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG the top U.S. ally in the fight against IS.

The Pentagon is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars to train Syrian fighters near the Turkish frontier while tamping down Ankara's fears of a Kurdish-led border force.

Turkey's offensive "has detracted from our fight to defeat Islamic State in eastern Syria", Tillerson said of the ongoing offensive by US-backed Kurdish militia to clear remaining pockets of extremists.

"We're going to destroy every terrorist we see", Erdogan said. "Then they will understand that it is better for them to not to stand alongside the terrorists", the Turkish president told the parliament.

Erdogan took aim at that, saying: "It is obvious that those, who say they will "give a sharp response" if they were hit, have not been hit by the Ottoman slap". "They will soon see that it's not such a place".

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attempt to lower the temperature on increasingly heated tensions between the United States and Turkey on Thursday, traveling to Ankara at a moment of clashing military strategies between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in neighboring Syria.

US forces there have helped to drive out ISIS from the town and aim to stabilize the region to prevent ISIS from returning.

Such tensions have hit Turkish public opinion, with 83 percent holding unfavourable views of the United States, a Center for American Progress poll showed this week.

Turkey last month launched an incursion into Syria, which it calls "Operation Olive Branch" to sweep the YPG from its southern border. The operation is still underway. "Trust needs to be rebuilt so we can start to talk about some issues", Cavusoglu said on Monday. However, a host of mixed messages from the United States to turkey together with a tendency by Washington to treat Istanbul gingerly has given an assurance that the American interest in Syria which includes a lease for airbases is of so much importance to the USA that it should not fail at any cost.

The Kurds have several times called for President Bashar al-Assad's regime to intervene to defend Afrin, but Damascus has taken no military action so far.

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US officials already expected the Friday discussions would be hard and had sought to soothe Erdogan's anger by stressing transparency in their support of the Kurds and commitment to Turkey's security.

US officials say Mr. Tillerson's stop in Turkey - part of a week-long trip that includes visits to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait - shows how "seriously" he takes the Erdogan government's concerns.

"From now on, nobody has the right to use the Daesh as an excuse". They are acting with Deash.

In the last few weeks alone, Turkey has clashed with Syrian Kurds and threatened a USA -controlled town in Syria; an Israeli fighter jet that was part of a response to an incursion into Israeli territory by an Iranian drone launched from Syria took Syrian anti-aircraft fire, forcing its two pilots to eject and parachute into Israeli territory; and US forces repelled an attack by Russian fighters, killing an unknown number of them that reports suggest could be in the hundreds. "The theatre of ISIL has ended", he said.

The comments mark an escalation in rhetoric against the US, whose backing of the Syrian Kurdish YPG has enraged Turkey, which labels the group as a terrorist organization and has invaded Syria to combat it.

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Khaled said she saw in Turkey "the same picture we see in Palestine", as she saw the Congress surrounded by policemen.

Turkey now demands 10 years for pro-Kurdish HDP co-chairperson