Turkey condemns ‘Syria operation targets Kurds’ claims

– Presidential spokesman: ‘We have a problem with the PKK; we have a ‘terrorist organizations’ problem’

– Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has strongly condemned accusations that Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield is against Kurds in Syria or an attempt to block Kurdish “achievements” in the region, reported Anadolu Agency.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday, Kalin said Turkey had no problem with Kurds at home, Iran, Iraq or Syria — or with any Kurd in any part of the world.

“We strongly condemn such initiatives that portray this [Operation Euphrates Shield] as an action against the Kurds in Syria [or] as an operation to block Kurds’ achievements,” he said.

Kalin said Turkey’s problems were with terrorist organizations such as the PKK/PYD.

“We have a problem with the PKK; we have a ‘terrorist organizations’ problem,” he said.

The spokesman reiterated that Turkey considered the PYD to be the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist PKK organization.

Ankara considers the PKK/PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, to be the Syrian offshoots of the PKK terror group which has waged war on Turkey for decades.

However, the U.S. sees the PKK/PYD as an ally in the fight against Daesh.

“Agreement with the PYD is out of question,” Kalin said. “The main purpose of the operation is to ensure security of our borders and thoroughly clean out terrorist elements there.”

Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched last week, is aimed at improving security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along Turkey’s border through Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery and jets.

-International coordination-

Kalin said all “necessary coordination and briefings” had been made with the international anti-Daesh coalition, the U.S. and Russia.

He also said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would meet international leaders, including the Chinese, U.S. and Russian presidents, at an upcoming G-20 summit in China.

Referring to a planned meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Kalin said that two leaders will discuss many topics, including Turkey’s request for the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, sought on charges of leading a bloody coup attempt last month.

Kalin also repeated criticisms about the failure of European leaders’ to visit Turkey to express solidarity following the defeated July 15 coup.

“It is not acceptable that [since today], still not a single European head of state has visited Turkey,” Kalin said.

The spokesman said Turkey was fighting three different terrorist organizations, including Daesh, the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, adding: “Turkey’s security is also the region’s security.”