ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday described the Syrian regime, the terrorist group Daesh, and the terrorist PKK-linked PYD as a trio which "constantly supports and paves the way for one other".
Speaking at a celebration of the 563rd anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul, Erdogan said the two groups and the Syrian regime co-exist and "cannot survive without one another".
"Unfortunately, the countries we see as allies overlook this dirty game, [and] even support it," Erdogan said. "Those who use Daesh and drench Syria in blood, and likewise those who use the PYD and try to surround our southern borders, have one goal in common: namely, to sever all of Turkey's ties with the Middle East and North Africa."
The PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.
"Nobody is strong enough to separate us from our lands, from the region of Thrace, or from the Mediterranean, which we claimed after the conquest in 1453," the president added.
Without mentioning it by name, Erdogan said that the PKK terrorist group "does not care about the region or Kurdish citizens".
"They want to avenge the conquest of Istanbul, but they got buried in those holes they dug," he said, alluding to the trench barriers dug around several southeastern Turkish cities last year.
Also speaking at the celebrations, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey should "once again stand up with the spirit of the 1453 conquest and be united with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan."
On May 29, 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, then called Constantinople, from where the Byzantines had ruled the Eastern Roman Empire for more than 1,000 years. The conquest transformed the city, once the heart of the Byzantine realm, into the capital of the new Ottoman Empire.