The Turkish president has said in an interview with the Hurriyet newspaper, that the Ankara government is opposed to the formation of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “We do not want a new Iraq. A northern Syria there, after northern Iraq. It is not possible for us to accept this.”
His language was a not-too-subtle refusal to accept the idea of Kurdistan in any way.
Although Ankara has strong economic ties with the Kurdistan Region, and allowed the Peshmerga to travel through Turkey en route to supporting the YPG/YPJ forces in Kobani, Ankara remains hostile to any recognition of the Kurds.
A fragile peace process remains in place with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), although it has been tested in recent months, most notably after the border to Kobani was closed, meaning vital supplies and manpower couldn’t cross into the besieged city.
Erdogan sees the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as the Syrian branch of the PKK and has repeatedly said that Ankara cannot allow “a terrorist group to establish camps in northern Syria.”