Radicals tarnishing Syria revolt, says FM Davutoğlu

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Radical groups in Syria are “betraying” the country’s revolt and have seriously harmed the “revolutionary” change in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, according to daily Radikal.

“Some radical groups are still tarnishing the reasonable revolutionary revolts in Syria by killing a religious man or by abduction. In my opinion, these attitudes are a betrayal to Syrian reform and cast a shadow over just demands. Therefore, it is quite wrong to say that Turkey is a supporter of the radical groups in Syria. However, our support for legitimate Syrian opponents still continues.” Davutoğlu said.

Davutoğlu also expressed his wish for all opposition forces to gather under a single roof, including the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is known to have links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish foreign minister said Turkey would definitely not prevent Syrian Kurds from obtaining their rights, noting that they do not have any rights in Syria. Davutoğlu, however, warned that the situation in Syria should not be confused with Turkey.

“The concept of ‘equal citizenship’ is based on stable status in our country and a democratic experience exists throughout history. However, there is no ‘citizen’ term in Syria. There hasn’t been a Kurdish governor in Baghdad for decades. Therefore, it is not a matter of discussion to denying the struggle of Kurds who have suffered from standing up for their rights for many years,” Davutoğlu said.

The minister also listed three demands on Syria’s Kurds. “First, they shouldn’t cooperate with the regime. Otherwise, tensions get higher between Kurds and Arabs, which will end up with the regime using them. Second, they should not form a de facto establishment on sectarian or ethnic grounds before they negotiate the other elements. We don’t worry about the achievement of a status for Kurdish groups or others,” Davutoğlu said, adding that the formation of any group would have a “domino effect” which could result in a war that nobody could stop it.

Last, Davutoğlu pleaded with Kurds not to damage Turkey’s border security in operations. “Whoever causes harm to borders will be opposed by Turkey,” the foreign minister told Radikal.

Davutoğlu also outlined Turkey’s three red lines, noting that humanitarian aid was the first. “We don’t discriminate and adopt an impeding attitude to regions. Our approach is to act in the same way to every nation on the matter of humanitarian aid; Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens. Second, if a group comes out threatening the border security of Turkey, then we will take precautions against whoever they are,” Davutoğlu said. “Third, we would do everything to bring all groups together under a single roof.”
The minister said he did not want Kurds to become alienated from Syrian opposition parties. We want them to take the place that they deserve in the Syrian opposition,” Davutoğlu said, adding that they had already met the PYD twice.

Davutoğlu also said autonomy was out of the question. “The balance in Syria is very important. Before Turkey’s reaction, some other groups would react which would result in a civil war. We do not want this. The regime is trying to conduct its war through the PYD. Kurds should be careful not to be deceived by occurrences right now.”

Possible talks with Egyptian parties

The minister has also said they were ready for peacemaking between the interim Egyptian government and ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters. “We would like to see an election as soon as possible,” Davutoğlu said, adding that the government would arbitrate only if a “true” democracy exists.

Asked about Morsi’s situation, Davutoğlu said pressure was increasing to secure his release. “The EU’s statements are positive. No one has been able to meet him yet,” Davutoğlu said.

 

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