Interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday that Turkey is very concerned about the U.S. providing weapons aid to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the PKK's Syrian affiliate, and that Turkey will give the same treatment to the PYD as the internationally recognized PKK terrorist organization if it transfers weapons to the PKK and poses a threat to Turkey.
Speaking to Bureau chiefs of major news outlets in Ankara, Davutoğlu said that Ankara has conveyed its discomfort of U.S. weapons aid to the PYD to Washington through diplomatic channels. "I have given instructions to the Foreign Ministry following the Cabinet meeting on Monday. The necessary diplomatic initiatives to the U.S. have been done. They will be informed that we do not and will not accept this in any way. Necessary initiatives are in place as of today [Tuesday]," he said.
"I would like to state very firmly and clearly that [Turkey] will apply the same precautions to Syria that have been done to northern Iraq against the PKK if there is any infiltration of and/or attack on Turkey whatsoever from Syria, as well as if there are ammunition transfers inside Turkey," Davutoğlu added, explaining that Ankara considers the issue a matter of national security.
Reminding about the reports that advanced weapons the U.S. provided to the Iraqi army in Mosul have begun to be used by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) after the Iraqi army withdrew from the area, Davutoğlu said: "No one can provide us a reliable justification about the current aid received by the PYD from not going to the PKK. If we detect that the aid given to the PYD is being transferred to Iraq and used in Iraq by the PKK or find out that it has entered Turkey, we will treat the PYD the same as we have the PKK and destroy any kind of weapon directed at Turkey anywhere we find it. No one should expect an understanding regarding this issue. We have informed both Russia and the U.S. on this. It is a national security matter for us," he said.
Following the killing of a Turkish soldier in Suruç by ISIS, over the past months Turkey began air operations against ISIS. Davutoğlu said that such operations display Ankara's determined attitude against all terrorist organizations that threaten Turkey and that this determination is also relevant concerning the PYD and PKK.
In response to a question about not performing operations against ISIS members despite their identities being known, Davutoğlu said that Turkey's combat against terrorism is performed under a democratic rule of law and that in a democratic state of law one cannot be arrested without signs of an offense.
Speaking about the twin suicide bombings in Ankara on Saturday, Davutoğlu expressed his gratitude for the families who lost their relatives for having fortitude, and said: "This attack has targeted the whole nation of Turkey, though it also targeted the sensitivity of those belonging to different ethnicities and sects, their families did not give an opportunity to those who are trying to create chaos from their suffering. I would like to send my condolences and my gratitude once more."
"The investigation is focusing on two indicators and also an investigation is being conducted on the second offender's contacts. The findings have advanced on this attack being pre-planned and indicate two different organizations," Davutoğlu said.
Explaining that the attack was carried out with three weeks until the Nov. 1 elections, Davutoğlu said: "We are going to elections in 19 days. The results that will come out from this election are highly significant, so the timing of the attack is extremely noteworthy in regard to Turkey's future, overshadowing the elections and bombs at election rallies."
He touched on the importance of the country going to elections safely: "We must not let our democracy backslide as a result of these events. Turkey will go to the polls on Nov. 1 no matter what, avoiding the elections or presenting actions that overshadow them is not right. Elections are really like a vaccination. It strengthens the system, and regardless of whatever the results are, it opens up legitimacy of politics," he said.