Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy yesterday criticized France, saying the country's recent stance on the PKK-affiliated the People's Protection Units (YPG) was not befitting of an ally.
"If we are to continue cooperation and dialogue, we need to agree on some of the main topics. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot and, by extension, a terrorist group." Aksoy told a press conference, adding the PKK affiliated group "cannot be a partner in the fight against Daesh."
French President Emmanuel Macron last month met with the representatives of the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and offered his support.
News reports emerged that Salih Muslum, the former co-chair of the PKK-linked Democratic Union Party (PYD), was on the list of leaders to meet Macron last week, but was excluded at the last minute.
Aksoy underlined that cooperating with the PYD/YPG would mean putting the future of Syria at risk which raises further concerns about the security of both Turkey and the region.
"French authorities have used the term ‘Afrin canton.' This term contradicts United Nations' rhetoric for the resolution of the Syrian crisis and the U.N. resolutions," Aksoy said.
He added that the two countries' foreign ministers also discussed the issue.
The tension between Turkey and France further escalated following France's offer to mediate between the YPG terrorist group and Turkey. The offer received harsh criticism from Ankara.
French President Macron's offer to meet the SDF leadership was branded as "unacceptable" by Turkey. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu recently said that it showed France's "double standard" on terrorist groups and called on Paris to take a clear stance against all forms of terrorism. Earlier, the French president was strongly criticized because of his remarks about Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on Jan. 20 in order to drive out the YPG from Afrin.
In response to the remarks, Ankara stressed that Turkey has no intentions of invading Syria and clearly underlined that it will hand over the region to the Syrian people once all terrorist elements were eliminated.
In relation to France's attitude toward the YPG, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, last week warned the country of abetting terrorism. The president also noted that the YPG terrorists used cement from the French giant Lafarge to build underground structures including hospitals and fortifications.
Lafarge came under fire after it was revealed that it made payments to terrorist groups, including Daesh, and the YPG to keep a plant running in war-torn Syria.
Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday that he will hold a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian over President Emmanuel Macron's offer for talks with the SDF, on the request of the French side.
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