Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has called on the Kurdish "formation" in Syria not to side with the Assad regime and to instead support the opposition.
Minister Arinc spoke Monday on recent domestic and international events at a televised program aired on state network TRT.
Arinc said the Syrian regime intended to exploit the Kurds and other groups in the northern region, and use them as a trump card against Turkey.
"When Assad goes, and a democratic regime becomes established with a parliament and elections, then everyone will have the capacity to be represented equally," he said.
"All we ask of the formation there (Kurds in the north) is: do not cooperate with Assad. Become a part of the opposition and do not attempt to take control by faits accomplis."
"Your presence and equal citizenship rights will definitely be recognized in a constitution to be formed after Assad. If you side with the opposition, you can avoid sharing the sins of the regime."
Turkish government officials held meetings last week with visiting leader of the Democratic Union Party, Salih Muslim.
The talks are thought to have provided an opportunity for the two parties to allay some of each other's concerns regarding PYD's intention to declare autonomy in northern Syria close to the border with Turkey, which sees PYD as a branch of the PKK organization.
Muslim is expected to pay another visit soon, possibly within the next two weeks.
Arinc seemed to leave out possibility of a Turkish military intervention into Syria, as he said Turkey was assessing the situation "from all angles".
"If we were to agree to [right wing opposition leader] Bahceli's call and go ahead with the plan to intervene, he may not calculate the risks such a move might bring but we do."
"Do we have the power to do it? We have fifty times more. Can we do what we want? Hundred times over."
"But would Turkey come to harm in its aftermath? We are looking at the issue from all angles."
- "If it means leaving power, let it be"
During the program, Arinc also spoke of the ongoing "peace process" between Turkish intelligence officials and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) organization, which carries out its retreat abroad in a deal agreed three months ago.
"It is not possible to claim we're successful in combatting terrorism until it is completely eliminated and the guns finally fall silent," Arinc said.
"There must be a peace process so that the organization [PKK] goes out with its arms, then drops them altogether.
"On May 8, the PKK announced a ceasefire and an immediately effective plan to move its fighters abroad. Seventy five days have passed, the move has started," Arinc said. "There is a retreat, we know that."
"It has not reached hundred percent, which may be expected to happen in September or October."
It was important for the group to leave the country as fast as possible, he said, because past experience showed protracted retreat attempts had fallen by the wayside.
"The peace process goes on, albeit slowly and laboriously, and despite some saying "it will not bear fruit"."
"Apparently it was easy for the (PKK) leadership to be convinced of the move following [imprisoned PKK leader] Ocalan's call, but in their own words, it was difficult for the middle-ranking fighters."
Arinc said there were several small groups which intended to sabotage the process by resisting the call to leave, and thereby trying to intimidate the Turkish government and the public.
"What is crucial is for the main mechanism and center of power [within the group] to move in the direction pointed out by Ocalan."
“If there is a conflict of decision making, we cannot go forward; everything would turn upside down in that case and a resulting change of attitude by the government might spell the end the of the peace process."
"The fight against terror has not come to an end. Unless there is an act of violence from the other side, our security forces will obviously stay put.”
Arinc expressed the Turkish government's commitment to a meaningful solution, and said the government, especially the prime minister, was ready to pursue it to the end.
"If this means taking the hemlock poison, then let it be. If it means leaving power, then let it be. We see this as the last big change for Turkey."
AALast Mod: 30 Temmuz 2013, 13:56