ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey is “shocked” by recent remarks from the U.S. State Department that put Ankara in the same basket as Kurdish YPG insurgents, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Monday.
Bilgic was referring to comments from U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby, who has urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to focus on tackling a “common threat” of Islamic State militants who control large parts of Syria.
Washington’s support of the YPG has been a sticking point for Ankara, which sees the group as terrorists affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast.
Bilgic also said Turkey will not seek permission to fight against “any terrorist organizations”, and conveyed its protest of Kirby’s comments to U.S. authorities.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan