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Syria: Turkey warns 'heavy cost' if YPG acts against Ankara from Cyprus

The Turkish foreign minister said the Greek Cypriot administration was playing with fire by hosting a Syrian Kurdish office on its territory
Soldiers stand on guard during the military parade marking the 38th anniversary of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of North Cyprus in the northern part of Cyprus' capital Nicosia on 15 November 2021 (AFP)
By Ragip Soylu in Ankara

Turkey on Thursday blasted Cyprus for hosting an office belonging to the Syrian Kurdish militant group YPG, saying that Ankara will make Nicosia pay a heavy cost if any attack threats come from the Greek controlled areas to Turkey or Northern Cyprus. 

“[They are] playing with fire by allowing terror groups to open offices, or hosting them,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during televised comments.

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“We, today, already know the support provided by the Greek administration to terror groups, to PKK. We will make them pay a heavy cost if any threat comes to Turkey or Cypriot Turks from [the south].” 

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), with which it has been locked in a deadly war for nearly four decades.

The PKK has been leading an armed insurgency against the Turkish government for greater Kurdish autonomy since 1984, in a conflict that has killed some 40,000 people.

Cavusoglu said Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration could resolve any outstanding issue but terror was a separate affair and Ankara would not tolerate it.

“This is directly linked to security,” he said. “We would treat this as we do in any other country where there is a presence of terrorists. When there is an attack to us, there would be a heavy cost.” 

Cypriot media reported this week that activists established “the Cypriot-Kurdish Solidarity Association” in Nicoasia on 12 January. 

A report by Philenews said that YPG’s civilian wing, PYD representative Yassin Tabrous, and PKK member Cerkes Korkmaz were present during the news conference that announced the establishment of the association. 

“The participants in the founding press conference made it clear that the Cypriot-Kurdish friendship transcends governments, political differences, and cross-party history,” the report said. 

Cyprus has been split along ethnic lines since 1974 between an internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government in the south and a breakaway northern region established following a Turkish intervention.

The north was occupied by Turkey in response to a coup that aimed to annex Cyprus to Greece. Since unilaterally declaring independence in 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is financially supported by Turkey, is only recognised by Ankara.

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