Turkey on the other hand is concerned that the post-referendum power-vacuum and instability will both strengthen the PKK and also harm its border security.
Urging the US to immediately stop supporting PKK-linked PYD and YPG terrorist organizations, he said “Working with our enemies is not what allies do.
Turkey’s preventive military operations against the outlawed PKK in northern Iraq, Daesh and People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria were launched as part of this strategy.
” Insisting that the referendum has done nothing but harmed KRG relations with the region and increased the likelihood of safe-zones for terrorist organizations including the PKK, YPG and Daesh, Erdogan emphasized that “The referendum crisis in northern Iraq is a new attempt to strike he heart of our region with a dagger.
A possible conflict between Baghdad and Erbil will undermine the fight against Daesh while creating a more convenient area of crisis for terror groups such as the PKK and its Syrian wing PYD.
More importantly, however, Turkey should seek opportunities to constrain PKK during this new engagement with Baghdad.
It must be noted that the wars experienced in the Middle East have constituted the main determinant that keeps the outlawed PKK active in the region for almost 40 years now.
” In reference to the recent developments in northern Iraq and the increasing threat of terrorism, Turkey’s Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli told journalists that “the PKK terrorist group appears to be expanding its presence seriously in northern Iraq.
As these courts look at all cases regarding terror and terrorism, they are working on cases about FETO, PKK, Daesh and DHKP-C.
” The independence referendum carries importance for Turkey not only due to potential territorial changes in the region, but also in concern of its fight against the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by both the US and Europe.
Turkey’s understandable concern is real, tangible and current: the presence of the PKK camps and headquarters in Northern Iraq.
he Operation Euphrates Shield (OES) which was launched on August 24, 2016 in order to clear the presence of terrorist organizations along Turkey’s southern border and to prevent the illegitimate PKK entity in Syria, seems to have reached its major objectives.
The first is, despite listing the PKK as a terrorist organization, Western states are allowing affiliates of this terrorist group to act freely in Europe.