By Sena Guler
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Monday again rejected the “false equation” of Syrian Kurds with the terrorist group PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PYD, currently the target of a Turkish anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
"We categorically reject the false equation of Syrian Kurds with the terrorist organization PKK,” Communications Director Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter.
“The terrorists invaded NE Syria, a predominantly Sunni Arab area, imposed its Marxist-Leninist ideology on the local population, and exiled or killed anyone that challenged its rule,” Altun added, referring to the YPG/PYD.
Decrying how Western governments “lie” to the public about Syria, he added: “The PKK established a ‘one-party statelet’ with no free press, no dissidents and widespread torture.”
Hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds live in Turkey in fear of being killed by the PKK if they go back home, he said.
Turkey has blasted Western countries for twisting its anti-terror Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria -- lunched last week -- as amounting to “Turkey fights Kurds.”
In a speech on Friday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stressed that the operation is “not against Kurds but against terrorist groups.”
He added that the operation means to protect rights of all the people of northern Syria -- Arabs, Kurds, Ezidis, Chaldeans -- from terrorist oppression.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.