Turkey's political parties yesterday slammed U.S. remarks that suggested the White House was looking for Ankara's assurance that "ensures the Turks won't slaughter the Kurds" in Syria following the U.S. withdrawal.
"Our Kurdish brothers have nothing to do with your allies, the slaughterers of people. In fact, equating the [PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units] YPG and the PKK with Kurds is despicable. Portraying Turkey's fight, as if it is against Kurds, is overstepping the boundaries of both humanity and relations between two allies," Devlet Bahçeli, the chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said during a parliamentary group meeting of the party.
Bahçeli added that Ankara will be the first in line to protect Kurdish people, not Washington, Brussels, Paris or London.
Commenting on U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's reported plan to hammer out a deal with Turkey for the protection of the YPG, Bahçeli said that the message sent to Ankara before Bolton's visit was unacceptable.
Bahçeli emphasized that Turkey, as an independent and sovereign country, will consult neither Bolton nor his higher-ups.
Pointing to contradicting statements from Washington regarding the decision to pull American troops out of Syria, Bahçeli said the U.S. withdrawal plan was a "sham and strategic diversion."
Bahçeli stressed that while White House spokesmen initially announced a schedule for the withdrawal and U.S. President Donald Trump said the "fight against Daesh is over," Trump is now claiming that he did not disclose a 100-day period for the withdrawal and expressed his desire to protect "Kurds," even if they pull the troops from the region.
"The actions of a person who says one thing in the morning and another thing in the evening are even more important than what he is saying," Bahçeli said. He added that Washington had been supposedly withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, but seemingly there is neither a sign of leaving nor a desire to leave.
Touching on recent developments in Syria where the YPG is allegedly leaving their territories to forces loyal to the Bashar Assad regime, Bahçeli questioned the U.S. role in laying the groundwork for possible close combat between the regime forces and Turkey.
Stressing that Turkey has been an effective actor in the regional developments with its diplomacy and military deterrence, Bahçeli underlined that his party backs the government for the operation east of the Euphrates to ensure national security and liberate local people from the atrocities of the YPG terrorist organization. He added that Turkey's stance is legitimate and legal under international law.
Meral Akşener, the chairwoman of the far-right Good Party (İP), also called for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to "enter and do what is necessary" if someone in Syria or Iraq is threatening the national security of Turkey.
In relation to the March 31 local elections, Bahçeli said following the upcoming elections, the presidential system will be fully established. He added that those who try to distort the social structure in a bid to create social unrest will get their answer on March 31.