Turkey: Autonomy cannot be declared unilaterally

Turkey's Foreign Minister said "Turkey has never been a part of the Syrian conflict based on a sect or ethnic group"

Turkey: Autonomy cannot be declared unilaterally

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said one of the most important outcomes of his recent Iraq visit was that "it highlighted the need for great cooperation between Turkey and Iraq against the Sunni-Shiite conflict, the stirring of which has been attempted in the context of Syria."

Addressing the Syrian conflict in an interview to Turkish NTV, Davutoglu emphasized that "Turkey has never been a part of the Syrian conflict based on a sect or ethnic group." 

Davutoglu also rejected claims suggesting Turkish relations with Al Qaeda by saying, "Turkey has not taken any step that will put the country in a wrong position in front of the Syrian people."

Regarding the declaration of autonomy by the PKK-affiliated PYD in northern Syria, FM Davutoglu said, "such autonomy cannot be declared unilaterally."

Davutoglu reminded of his suggestion to PYD leader Saleh Muslim that the group should distance itself from the Assad regime and be part of the opposition.

Touching on his November 10-11 visit to Iraqi, Davutoglu stressed that Turkey and Iraq have been carefully approaching each other since March and this situation had led to the easing of tension. 

Emphasizing that Turkey never sees any ethnic group or sect as political tools, Davutoglu said, "Some people may consider this as a chess game or conflict of interests, but we have never used the moral values of a nation as a 'political card.'  Some tried to attribute sectarianism to Turkey, and these groups also tried to prevent Turkey's increasing power and the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) activism in the domestic and international arena. "

Referring to his warm welcomed by Shiites in Najaf and Karbala, he said, "They knew very well that we have never excluded or marginalized them. I, personally want to spend the month of Muharram every year in Karbala, Najaf with our brothers there."

He said the improvement in Sunni-Shiite relations in Iraq has contributed to developing closer ties between Ankara and Baghdad.

Relations between the two sides have now returned to how they were before, he pointed out while referring to recent developments in the last 15 months, especially after the Arap Spring and its negative effects on the Syrian case.

Davutoglu underlined that his meeting with Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki was very intimate and he was strongly welcomed by other Shiite leaders.

Turkey-Armania, Armania-Azerbaijan relations 

Davutoglu mentioned the recent condition of Turkish-Armenian and Armenian-Azerbaijani relations in the context of his meeting yesterday with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, who had paid an official visit to Turkey after being re-elected in the October 9 elections, in which he received 84.54% votes.

Reminding that the normalization process with Armenia has been on track, Davutoglu said, "We have to overcome Armenia's distrust, but moreover we should not ignore the legal demands of Azerbaijan, 20 percent of which has been under occupation."

Barzani's visit

Answering a question regarding Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani's upcoming visit to Turkish province Diyarbakir, Davutoglu said, "the visit reflects Turkey's self confidence."

Suggesting that Barzani's visit has a symbolic meaning as a sign of trust and confidence, he added, "This is also a message to our brothers living in North Iraq."

He stressed the inaccuracy of the impression suggesting that Barzani's visit will have 'negative outcomes.'

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Kasım 2013, 13:01