Turkish FM: PKK/PYD prevents return to Syria for Kurds

The Turkish foreign minister said late Thursday that the the YPG -- the military wing of the PKK/PYD terror organization -- was preventing Syrian Kurds from returning home.

Speaking at a conference in Rome, Mevlut Cavusoglu said they need to help Syira at least to build basic infrastructure that people can go back.

"We took back more than 2,000 square kilometers [over 770 square miles] of land from Daesh," he said.

In a wide-ranging Euphrates Shield Operation launched last summer, the Free Syrian Army -- with the support of the Turkish army -- cleared 2,000 square kilometers of land along the Turkish-Syrian border of terrorist elements.

Cavusoglu added that almost 100,000 Syrians in Turkey had returned to this area in Syria.

Around 150,000 internally displaced people in different cities in Syria also had gone back to this area, he said.

Cavusoglu continued : "Why? Because we reach them. Humanitarian assistance is there. We supply electricity and even water to some of the towns [...] They feel safe"

Cavusoglu said the YPG (the military wing of PKK/PYD) was controlling 20 percent of Syria, referring to the terror group's presence in northern Syria.

"In Turkey we have 300,000 Syrian Kurds. Not even one of them is able to go back to this area."

"The YPG confiscated their properties, houses, all official certificates. No archives. Everything is burned.Their land and houses are taken, they cannot go back," he said.

Cavusoglu also added that the PKK/PYD did not represent Kurds.

The PYD and its military YPG wing are Syrian branches of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years.

Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.

The U.S. and the coalition have largely ignored PYD/YPG links to the PKK, which the U.S., the EU, and Turkey list as a terrorist group.

Source: Anadolu Agency