World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Premier's remarks on Kosovo were meant to emphasize the strong bonds between the countries, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called Kosovo "our second home" and said, "Turkey is Kosovo, and Kosovo is Turkey,” which drew the ire of Serbia.
Davutoglu said the Serbian translation of Erdogan's address in front of a packed crowd of Kosovar Turks in Prizren portrayed Turkey as if it had an "expansionist and Neo-Ottoman" attitude.
He said he talked with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic on the issue.
"I told my dear friend that when we go to Belgrade, we also call it our second home. We say this naturally," Davutoglu said at televised program. "We see the people of Serbia as friends, just as we do the people of Albania, and we want to advance our relations with both."
"Turkey would never use such nostalgic expansionist rhetoric. However, we use the warmest of expressions to convey our sense of affinity. This is what our Prime Minister did."
PYD does not represent all Kurds
Foreign Minister Davutoglu spoke on the activities of Syrian Kurdish political group Democratic Union Party (PYD), saying Turkey wants PYD to integrate with the Syrian opposition.
He said Turkey had no issue with the rights of Kurds either in Syria or Iraq, maintaining that PYD's claims to represent all Kurds alone were ungrounded.
"PYD says it is the sole representative of all Kurds. No, it doesn't. On the contrary, there are groups that are very annoyed of PYD's pressure, they request support from us," Davutoglu said.
Also speaking of Turkey-Iraq relations, Davutoglu said it was "normal for there to be ups and downs."
He characterized the recent strain as "a misunderstanding of Turkey's efforts to keep all parties involved."
"It is out of question that we would stand against a particular group in Iraq or favor one over another," he noted.