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Ankara displeased with US statement addressed to PKK

An official declaration from the US calling directly on the PKK to leave off its weapons has fostered excitment and happiness in the terrorist group, with the head of PKK affiliate KONGRA-GEL, Zubeyir Aydar, saying "The US has for the first time made such an announcement. They are addressing us."

US State Department Spokesperson Sean McCormack made the call for the PKK to leave off violent ways, saying this week that they should bring an end to "violent incidents and weapons holdings." In a responding statement, Ayday, the head of KONGRA-GEL, said "The US has made such a statement for the first time. They are addressing us directly. In following days, we will be making some important statements and sharing some important analyses."

In Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokeperson, Namik Tan, mentioned Ankara's discomfort with the US statement in which the PKK was directly addresed, saying "we were a bit surprised" by the announcement. Tan's comments came atg a press conference held in the capital yesterday.

Tan also said:

"......The US, which is one of the countries Turkey has worked most closely with in the fight against the PKK, knows quite well what terrorism is. We have true gratitude to the US, which has from the very start characterized the PKK as a terror group, and which has constructed its foreign policies along these lines. Which is why, along these perameters, we are a bit surprised by the announcement from the US. Rather than this annoucement, we would have liked to see a more concrete appearance of action from the US (against the PKK)."

Tan, in the press conference yesterday in Ankara, addressed worries that the Turkish government would be forced to deal with and address directly the PKK factions in Turkey and Northern Iraq during the decision making process involving the question of who would be appointed as US coordinator for the struggle against the PKK. Said Tan, "The Turkish Republic will never accept the direct address of any statements to the PKK, let no one be worried on that front."

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