Turkey’s national security is not an issue up for discussion, said the head of Turkey’s presidential communications on Tuesday.
“Turkey’s national security is non-negotiable. Our fight against terrorism isn’t a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’,” presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter after a meeting of Turkish and U.S. security officials in the capital Ankara.
“U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks with his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin at the Presidential Complex in Ankara today. I hope that he got a taste of the world-famous Turkish hospitality during his visit,” Altun added.
“Acting like Syrian Kurds and members of a U.S.-designated terrorist group are one and the same is an insult to the Kurdish people and our intelligence,” added Altun.
The meeting came in the wake of Bolton saying the U.S. withdrawal from Syria needed a guarantee Turkey will not attack “Kurds” in Syria, meaning the terrorist PKK/PYD — remarks firmly rejected by Ankara.
Turkish officials reject any conflation of ethnic Kurds with PKK/PYD terrorists, saying the PKK/PYD terrorizes Syrian Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen alike.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK — recognized as a terror group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey — has taken some 40,000 lives, including women and children. The PKK/PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch.
Turkey has said it is planning a counter-terrorist operation into Syria targeting the PKK/PYD, following two successful operations since 2016.
Turkey has criticized the U.S. working with the terrorist PKK/PYD to fight Daesh, saying using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.