The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), which represents the interests of Turkish Americans living in the United States, is concerned with the recent, biased remarks on Republic of Turkey and its military intervention targeting terrorist organizations in Syria.

In a recent letter to the United Nations Security Council, Republic of Turkey cited article 51 of the UN Charter on self-defense for its intervention, stating that the operation is intended to:

  • ensure the security of its border and aimed to eliminate terrorist organizations ISIS/PKK/PYD/YPG emanating from Northern Syria,
  • establish stability along its Syrian border,
  • save Syrian people from the oppression of ISIS/PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organizations,
  • ensure the safe return of displaced Syrians including Syrian Kurds to their homes in Syria.

The YPG is an armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a group linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been declared by Turkey, the United States, the European Union, NATO, and major world governments a terrorist organization. The PKK is responsible for the lives 40,000 in Turkey since early 1980s. The YPG poses a direct national security threat to Turkey, a strategic military and political ally of the United States and NATO member since 1952. YPG and PKK’s close ties have been acknowledged by many US officials including the former US Defense Secretary Ash Carter during a Q&A session at the Armed Services Committee hearings (1). An official report prepared by US National Security Director Daniel Coats, presented to the US Congress acknowledged that YPG, the Syrian wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), is seeking autonomy in Syria (2).

Turkey has provided refuge for more than 3.5 million Syrians including Syrian Kurds since the start of war in Syria.

The ongoing U.S. support for YPG and misrepresenting Turkey’s fight against terrorism in Syria jeopardize not only security of Turkey but also security of the region and the long-standing partnership and mutual trust between the U.S. and Turkey.

The ATAA urges the US Government officials and all responsible parties to do its utmost to avoid further deterioration of relations between two NATO allies.—Unclassified-SSCI.pdf