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Members of NATO should stand by Turkey if they consider Ankara an ally and a strategic partner, and not support terrorist organizations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
Speaking at an award ceremony at the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK), Erdogan said Turkey cannot accept a partner that supports terrorist organizations which they themselves consider terrorists.
"We are your NATO ally. How on earth can you support terrorist organizations and not us? Are these terrorist organizations your NATO allies?" the president said. "This is unacceptable."
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also pointed out that it was “clearly known” that the United States had supplied the PKK’s Syrian wing, the YPG.
The YPG is the armed branch of the PYD – the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.
According to Turkey, the YPG and PYD are terrorist organizations, too, as they are affiliates of the PKK.
However, the U.S. considers YPG/PYD a "reliable partner" on the ground in Syria and continues to support them in the field. The terrorist group operates currently in northern Syria and controls the majority of the area close to the Turkish border.
Erdogan also charged that some Western countries lied about arming those terrorist organizations.
"If you provide weapons to these terrorist organizations, but then claim that you don't send weapons but only ammunition, we don't believe this," Erdogan said.
2016.12.29 / 19:55