ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused the West of bombing Arabs and Turkmens in Syria while supporting Kurdish “terrorist” groups which he said were taking their place.
Moderate Syrian rebels and Kurdish forces have been fighting Islamic State insurgents holding the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad in recent days, sending thousands of people fleeing to Turkey.
Turkey is uncomfortable with gains by Kurdish YPG forces in Syria, saying they have links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.
Erdogan has also questioned the effectiveness of bombing raids by a US-led coalition aimed at degrading Islamic State.
His words come post-Sunday’s parliamentary elections, which left the country in a race for the formation of a new government.
In his first public appearance since elections, Erdogan urged the country’s political parties to work quickly to form a new government, saying egos should be left aside and that history would judge anyone who left Turkey in limbo.
He said no political development should be allowed to threaten Turkey’s gains, and vowed to do his part in finding a solution with the powers given to him by the constitution.