Ankara Summons Swiss Charge d’Affaires Over Syrian Kurds' Office in Geneva

© AP Photo / Cagdas ErdoganMilitants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, stand at a barricade in Sirnak, Turkey. (File)
Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, stand at a barricade in Sirnak, Turkey. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.08.2021
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Switzerland's Charge d’Affaires on Tuesday in connection with the opening in Geneva of a representative office of the Syrian Kurdish Self-Defence Forces (YPG), affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), both banned by Ankara as terrorist organisations.
Turkish media reported earlier in the day that the YPG, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance that controls the country's north, opened an office in the Swiss city, adding that the group plans to open missions in other European countries, including Germany, France and Sweden.
"The Chargé d’Affaires of the Swiss Embassy in Ankara was summoned to the Ministry to protest and ask for an explanation, upon the opening of a so-called representative office affiliated with the PKK/YPG terrorist organization ... in Geneva, Switzerland," the ministry said in a statement.
Ankara has repeatedly opposed the opening of offices by terrorist groups "under any names, such as association or non-governmental organization, or circumstances" to disseminate propaganda and gain legitimacy, the statement read.
"We emphasize that no distinction should be made between terrorist organizations in the fight against terrorism. We remind those who embrace terrorist organizations just because these terrorists do not target themselves that this scourge might one day hit them as well," the ministry said.
The PKK, which seeks to establish Kurdish autonomy in Turkey, is also considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union, and numerous other countries. Ankara has been fighting the PKK in the country's southeast since the 1980s. Turkey conducts operations against PKK bases and terrorists in northern Iraq.
Ankara holds the organisation responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people.
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