01:22 GMT +315 December 2019
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    A Kurdish man waves a large flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), during a demonstration against the exclusion of Syrian-Kurds from the Geneva talks in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on February 4, 2016

    Turkey, Kurds Should Be United as Strategic Friends

    © AFP 2019 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
    Middle East
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    PYD co-chairman considers Ankara and the Kurds to be neighbors and, so should be strategic friends.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ankara and the Kurdish ethnic community are neighbors and should be strategic friends, Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Sputnik.

    "We have repeatedly stated that we did not do anything against Turkey and are not going to… We are neighbors. We need to be together, we should be friends," Muslim said in an interview.

    He added that Kurds considered Turkey in terms of a larger strategy and would continue to hold out the hand of friendship to Ankara.

    Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed over a series of terrorist attacks, allegedly committed by PKK members. The Turkish authorities have imposed several round-the-clock curfews in Kurdish-populated towns in the country's southeast, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are taking place.

    The Kurds comprise ancient tribal groups that are currently living in parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In Turkey, Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority and are striving to create their own independent state.

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    Tags:
    Kurds, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Salih Muslim, Turkey, Ankara
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