Turkey is ‘only friend’ of Kurdish people, AKP spokesman says

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AKP Spokesperson Ömer Çelik

Turkey has been the “only friend” of the Kurdish people, the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on Tuesday, the state-owned Anadolu agency reported.

“No one can teach the Republic of Turkey lessons about protecting our Kurdish brothers. The Republic of Turkey is the biggest, even the only, friend of the Kurds,” Ömer Çelik told reporters in the capital of Ankara.

Çelik added that Turkey is also a friend to Arabs and Turkmens in the region.

“Those who tell Turkey, ‘Don’t touch the Kurds,’ should look in the mirror and remember their oppression of Kurds,” he said, apparently referring to remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton warning against Turkey attacking “Kurds.”

Turkey has said it is planning a military offensive in Syria targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the third operation in the neighboring country since 2016.

Ankara believes the YPG is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, a guerilla group that has been designated as terrorists by the European Union and the United States.

The US should know that Turkey is its ally, Celik said, calling its alliance with the YPG in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria a “great failure.”

He added that Pompeo and Bolton “know” the YPG is a terrorist group.

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