Turkey summons U.S. envoy over comments on Kurdish PYD in Syria

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2016 1:45 PM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador on Tuesday after a State Department spokesman said Washington did not regard Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.

Ankara sees the PYD as a sister arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey and is classed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Washington supports the PYD in its struggle against Islamic State militants in Syria.

Asked about the difference of opinion between the two NATO allies on Monday, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said:

"This is not a new concern, as I said, that the Turks have proffered. And we don’t, as you know, recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization."

(Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz, writing by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Gareth Jones)