Turkish PM warns allies about YPG, PYD in Syria

Turkey's allies should decide whether they will continue their way with Turkey or terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday.

Speaking at the fourth International Ombudsman Symposium at the presidential complex in Ankara, Yildirim said some terrorist organizations "which have given Turkey a headache for years" were trying to exploit the situation in Syria, and attempting to take up new positions under different names like PYD and YPG.

"Our friends should know that whatever name and form these organizations assume, we know them very well. We have been fighting them for years," he said.

Yildirim called on Turkey's allies and friends to think 10 times when they decide with whom to cooperate.

"They should decide with whom to continue their way. They will either continue with Turkey or with terrorist organizations," he said.

PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK -- considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- whereas YPG is the armed wing of PYD, and considered by the U.S. a "reliable partner" in the region in the fight against Daesh.

The PKK/PYD has been accused by human rights groups of committing significant human rights violations in northern and northeastern Syria, including "ethnic cleansing" massacres.

The PKK resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children.

Fight against Daesh

Yildirim also commented on the fight against Daesh, reiterating that Turkey was the only country "truly" fighting Daesh whereas the other countries were just pretending.

"So far, Turkey has prevented more than 50,000 Daesh sympathizers from traveling to the region [Syria] via our borders, and taken into custody more than 3,500 Daesh members, preventing terror attacks and bloodshed."

Turning to the refugee crisis, Yildirim criticized the international community for failing to share the burden.

"It should be acknowledged that a single country cannot solve this issue on its own. Today, there are about 55 million refugees across the world. This is bigger than the population of 120 countries," he said.

Turkey hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has so far spent around $26 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Reporting by Ferdi Turkten and Enes Kaplan; Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

Source: Anadolu Agency