SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey warned the Kurdistan Region’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to cut its alleged ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as soon as possible, according to a minister.
Speaking to the Istanbul-based “Milliyet” newspaper, the Turkish Defense Minister, Yaşar Güler, on Friday said that they had constantly warned Bafel Talabani, the President of the PUK, about the “increase” of the PKK activists in Sulaimani province.
“Please cut off your relations with terrorist organizations,” Güler told PUK’s Talabani, whose organization is the second dominant party of the Kurdistan Region, ruling Sulaimani.
“It will be against you in any case,” he added.
Regarding the alleged ties and the joint activities between the PUK and the PKK, the Minister added that they “follow” and “know” all of the actions and activities.
“Of course, we share these with both our Iraqi friends and our friends in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP),” he added
“We do not want to take a more drastic move. These things have been said openly and repeatedly.” “I hope that Talabani will stop his support or cooperation with these terrorist organizations ASAP.”
The PKK and the Turkish state have been embroiled in conflict since the 1980s. Turkey, the United States, and European Union have blacklisted the movement as a “terrorist” organization.
In recent years, Turkey has conducted numerous operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region, where the group has bases despite opposition from the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.
After growing its concerns about the alleged intensification of PKK activities in Sulaimani, Turkey in April this year imposed a flight ban on flights from and to Sulaimani International Airport.