Turkey won’t allow Syrian Kurds to cross west of Euphrates

Turkey has not allowed and will not allow the Syrian Kurdish democratic Union Party (PYD) to cross west of the Euphrates River, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Erdogan dismissed suggestions that fighters from the Kurdish militia had already crossed the river, Zaman daily reported.

“This is all gossip. We haven’t allowed it up until now. Even if there are partial movements, we won’t allow such a thing,” he said. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also made the Turkish position clear, by rejecting outright any seat for the PYD in the upcoming Geneva talks on the future of Syria.”If the PYD wants to participate in negotiations, it should better sit the table along with the Syrian regime on the same side,” Davutoglu said, accusing the party of aligning with the Bashar al-Assad government during the years-long civil war in Syria.Turkey views the PYD, and its armed wing YPG, as the Syrian extension of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has deep concerns over expanding Kurdish control in northern Syria. www.mesop.de