MHP leader: tensions don't benefit allies

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 06.11.2018 23:45

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said yesterday that Washington's support of the People's Protection Units (YPG), an affiliate of the PKK terrorist group, is an attempt to play both sides which "does not serve the interests of allies."

Speaking in a party group meeting yesterday, the MHP leader said that "no one will benefit from the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey." He underscored that the U.S. needs to realize this fact and avoid disregarding allied partnership ties for the benefit of bilateral ties.

Bahçeli criticized the recent joint patrols of U.S. troops with YPG terrorists in northern Syria, saying that Washington's attitude is form of "hypocrisy."

Media reports suggested on Sunday that U. S. forces patrolled the town of al-Darbasiyah in the northeastern Al-Hasakah, Syria, near the Turkish border, controlled by the YPG. The patrols come after Turkey retaliated against YPG attacks from the region last week.

Last month, Turkish and U.S. militaries had started conducting joint patrols in northern Syria's Manbij in line with the road map determined by the two countries, which foresaw expulsion of the terrorist organization from the province.

Although the U.S. recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, it denies the group's connection with the YPG despite strong organizational and ideological links.

Stressing that Turkey's war against terrorism is "commendable and resolute," Bahçeli said that "terrorist nests" in the eastern Euphrates region should be completely eradicated.

He added that Turkey's temporary waiver from the U.S. Treasury to continue oil trade with Iran and the lifting of sanctions on two Turkish ministers, which were imposed in the pastor Andrew Brunson case, are "valuable" moves, which should be followed by positive progress in the Halkbank case.

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy general manager of Turkish state lender Halkbank, was sentenced to 32 months in jail earlier this year in the U.S. for evading Iran sanctions. Turkey had said that the case had been politically motivated, accusing the U.S. court of taking forged evidence and statements by supporters of Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

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