Statement Of H.e. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Turkey In Response To A Question From The Press Regarding The Latest Developments In Ayn Al-arab (kobane), Syria

Tokyo Büyükelçiliği 22.10.2014

As you know, the people of Kobani are actually now in Turkey.

Our country has opened up its borders and embraced all those from Kobani who wish to take refuge in Turkey. We would never wish Kobani to fall. We have mobilized all our means to prevent such an outcome from the very beginning. We have provided Kobani with all the humanitarian aid possible. We have implemented the rules of engagement meticulously and acted in full cooperation with the Coalition for Kobani.

We see the announced airborne drop of assistance of military and medical material by the US to all the forces defending Kobani, which has been provided by our Iraqi Kurdish brothers, in this context. The number of local opposition groups, which are fighting the ISIS in Kobani is around 7-8, including the PYD. These groups, comprising Suvvar Rakka, Fecr ül Hürriye, Suvvar Cerablus, Eastern Tevhid Brigade, has established a joint headquarters called “Burkan el Fırat.” The KRG has also made a statement indicating that they are in contact with Turkey and the US to assist Kobani. As a matter of fact, we too will facilitate the crossing of the Peshmarga forces to Kobani for support. We will continue our cooperation with the relevant countries as well as our contribution to the efforts towards saving Kobani, so that the residents of Kobani can go back to their homes and live in security and tranquility as before.

Of course, there are certain issues in this context to which need to be paid attention. As we have always kept emphasizing, the agenda of the PYD and its views with regard to the future of Syria are not compatible with those of moderate Syrian opposition, who is fighting for a Syria with democratic integrity. Unfortunately, the PYD, just as the ISIS, is trying to control a specific area and far from the objective of a democratic and a free Syria with a strong unity and integrity. So long as the PYD does not change its position, it can earn neither Turkey’s nor Free Syrian Army’s support and trust.

Addressing the root cause of the problem in the fight against the ISIS and taking steps towards ensuring that the regime, which is responsible for deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians so far, to transfer power to a representative government comprising the entire people of Syria established as a result of a genuine political transition in accordance with the Geneva communique will always remain our priority. As a matter of fact, the only element fighting both the regime and the ISIS today is the Syrian opposition forces. In this vein, our efforts and contacts are underway with the relevant parties to ensure that the moderate opposition gets the support it needs in the context of fighting the ISIS.

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