Claim: Turkey paralyzes Syria negotiations, defends partition

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Claim: Turkey paralyzes Syria negotiations, defends partition

2016-02-22 02:40 GMT

Hassan Nasrallah, leader of militant group Hezbollah, claims Turkey paralyzes Syrian peace talks and supports disunited Syria

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah

On 17 February 2016, the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli broadsheet newspaper, published an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, which is an Iranian-backed Shiite militant group and political party based in Lebanon.

In the interview, Nasrallah claimed that Turkey is making it harder to find a perpetual solution for the Syrian conflict, which is now in its fifth year, and “is paralyzing the Syria negotiations.”1

The negotiations took place between 23-31 January 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland, aiming to end the Syrian conflict by bringing together the Syrian regime and opposition groups.

Before the peace talks, the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared Turkey will boycott the negotiations if it includes the PYD (Democratic Union Party), the Syrian branch of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) - a militant group listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, the EU and NATO which seeks to establish its Marxist-Leninist ideology in southeastern Turkey. After the decision to boycott the negotiations, Turkey was criticized for creating difficulties.

However, the reason why Turkey stood against the participation of the PYD at the peace talks is not because it is trying to prevent peace, but because the PYD is an organization that uses violence and has carried out terrorist activities in northern Syria.

Salih Muslim, the leader of the PYD, released a warning and threatened the Arab people living in the predominantly Kurdish areas of Syria with war. In an interview with Serek TV he also said, “One day those Arabs who have been brought to the Kurdish areas will have to be expelled".2

Furthermore, according to Turkey’s state-run news agency AA (Anadolu Agency), a PKK terrorist named Erdal D. confessed that PKK militants are being trained by the PYD.3

In addition to that, Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization focused on human rights, released a report of war crimes carried out by the PYD in October 2015. The report reveals forced displacement of civilians and home demolitions by the PYD.4

The US ambassador to Turkey John Bass announced the US shares Turkey’s concerns over the demographic changes in northern Syria and told the PYD to respect the territorial integrity of the country.5

Nasrallah also claimed that Turkey supports the partition of Syria, saying, “They want to partition Syria into four states – a Sunni state, an Alawite state, a Druze state and a Kurdish state."

However, Turkey repeatedly declared its respect for Syria’s territorial integrity. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that Turkey is the only country in the region that supports the territorial integrity of Syria and is against the division of Syria into separate zones.6