World Bulletin / News Desk
Earlier this week, Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed to work towards holding a Syrian peoples’ congress as a step to establishing a political solution in the war-ravaged country.
Erhan Usta, deputy chairman of the MHP’s parliamentary group, gave the party’s backing for such a congress but stressed Turkey’s opposition to the PKK/PYD’s involvement.
“We think that the dialogue process should continue,” he said.
The PKK/PYD, also known as the YPG, is the Syrian wing of the PKK, which has waged a 33-year terror campaign against Turkey. However, the group has carved out territory in northeast Syria and has been involved in fighting Daesh.
Ankara is insistent that the PKK/PYD should not benefit from the Astana peace process initiated by Turkey, Russia and Iran and has stressed the importance of Syria’s territorial integrity.
Referring to the PKK/PYD, Usta said those aiming “to establish a state in northern Syria cannot take part in the solution process of Syria. If they were to take part, it would contradict the aim of protecting the territorial integrity of Syria.”
He added that these actors were “clearly terrorist organizations for us. The recognition of them will not only threaten Turkey but also Syria.”
Turkey has been deeply affected by the seven-year conflict in Syria and hosts more than 3 million Syrian refugees, spending $25 billion on them.
- Syria's future
Turkey has played an important role in working towards peace, including the Astana process, which resulted in the establishment of de-escalation zones across the country, and ridding northern Syria of Daesh during Operation Euphrates Shield.
“The clashes in Syria should end immediately,” Usta said. “The infrastructure should be set up for Syrians so that they can return to their homes, which is important both for Turkey and for them.”
In a joint statement at this week’s Sochi summit, Russia, Turkey and Iran stressed their commitment to supporting an independent, unified and territorially integral Syria.
They also highlighted the need for confidence-building measures to hasten a political solution.
“We strongly back this attitude,” Ustu said.
However, he warned against rushing towards a Syrian congress without proper preparation.
“Those who take part in this congress will stake a claim in the future of Syria,” he said.
“For this reason, the PKK/PYD should not take part in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. At this point, Turkey should use diplomacy to convince Russia. Iran may be easily convinced.”
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU, although the U.S. has largely ignored the PKK/PYD’s links to the PKK.