Turkey won’t accept any de facto autonomy in Syria before a Parliament is elected: Davutoğlu

24 July 2013 – JTW – Ankara will not accept any de facto autonomy in Syria before a legitimate Parliament is elected, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, adding that this did not necessarily mean opposing the rights of the Kurds in northern Syria.

“As we have stressed many times before, Turkey does not accept any formation of a de facto [autonomous] region or the cutting of ties with other regions [in the country] until an elected Syrian Parliament is established, giving the political system its final shape. Not only Turkey, but other groups inside Syria would not accept it either,” Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters during a bilateral visit to Poland July 23. He nevertheless stressed that the position adopted by Ankara was not one that aimed to deny the rights of the Kurdish population. “This does not mean that Turkey is against the rights of any group in Syria, particularly Kurds. On the contrary, Turkey conveyed very serious recommendations, even exerted pressure [on Syria] to protect the citizenship rights of the Kurdish population when our relations with [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad were still good. So, this is not a position against our Kurdish brothers [in Syria],” Davutoğlu said.

“We are concerned that a de facto fait accompli could further deepen the crisis in Syria,” he added.

The Turkish government has not welcomed Syrian Kurds’ plans to create a temporary autonomous government to administer the northern part of Syria, which borders Turkey, and Davutoğlu also warned against a “fait accompli” in a previous statement. Speculation has been growing over the last few days that the capture of Ras al-Ayn by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish party with alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), will eventually lead to the creation of an autonomous Kurdish entity in northern Syria. “With respect of our border security and of the security of our districts, villages and towns along the borders as well as Syria’s future, we want everyone to stay away from conflict until a democratic system in Syria is formed,” Davutoğlu said. The Turkish military recently returned fire as stray bullets and rocket projectiles hit Ceylanpınar, Ras al-Ayn’s twin village just across the wired fence along the border that separates both countries.