For the extraordinary crisis in Syria and the proliferation of terrorist groups to other countries in the Middle East, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has reportedly held the West responsible, particularly President Barack Obama.
The deputy PM affirmed, “We will bring global forces trying to conduct disharmony in the Middle East into line. Western countries cannot escape from the dangers of terrorism or from the dangers of global migration even if they blocked their borders with wire braids or covered the sky with a steel dome,”.
Kurtulmus’s remarks come after officials in Ankara warned that they would deny the anti-Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) U.S.-led coalition access to its Incirlik Air Base over a purported dearth of allied backing for Turkey’s own offensive in the Middle East.
Hurriyet Daily News states that in a talk at an Ambassador’s’ Conference in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday, the deputy PM blamed Western nations of “supporting terrorist organizations in order to maximize their regional interests just because they did not have troops on the ground.”
Particularly, the Turkish leader insinuated that the West is associated with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in addition to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Although both Turkey and the U.S. deem ISIS and the PKK to be terrorist groups, only Ankara has labeled FETO, which denotes to followers of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, a terror organization.
Citing the late dictators Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya as examples, he said, “Those [Western countries] who are talking about cooperation in the fight against terrorism should reflect on their history and remember how they once hosted bloody-handed dictators.”
Turkey believes the U.S.-allied People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed faction of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that holds sway over large swathes of northern Syria, an associate of the terror PKK group. This view has driven both NATO partners, Washington and Ankara, to contrasting sides of the Syrian conflict on occasion.
The Obama Administration regards the PKK as a terrorist group, but not the YPG.
Getting closer with Russia
Turkey has been supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, who have obtained military assistance from America in the past but have been fighting against YPG on behalf of Turkey more lately.
A few news reports suggest that Turkey is moving closer to Russia as Ankara dissociates itself from Washington, notwithstanding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian equivalent Vladimir Putin’s different sentiments on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey has been supporting the Syrian resistance during the ongoing civil war while Russia has been providing support to Assad.