The US government sent the envoy led by Brett McGurk to Kobani in Northern Syria to speak with representatives of the military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Erdogan was fuming about US President Barack Obama’s decision to send the envoy to Kobani and meet with the PYD, whom Ankara considers terrorists.
“How can we trust you? Is it me that is your partner or is it the terrorists in Kobani?” Erdogan said, as cited by AP.
The PYD is believed to have ties with the members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with whom the Turkish government is currently fighting in southeastern Turkey.
Last year, Washington partnered with PYG fighters when US-led airstrikes helped the Kurds to drive out Deash (Islamic State) militants out of Kobani.
According to the Turkish government, the fact that the Syrian Kurds are fighting against Daesh on the ground doesn’t disqualify them from being terrorists. During his meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, Erdogan said that he doesn’t see the difference between the PKK, PYD and Daesh.
Meanwhile, Turkish forces are battling PKK fighters in southeastern Turkey. Intense clashes involving machine guns and artillery are taking place in the city of Diyarbakir.
Tensions in Turkey escalated in July 2015, after 33 Kurdish activists were killed in a suicide blast in the city of Suruc and two Turkish policemen were later murdered by the PKK, which led to Ankara’s military campaign against the group.
The Kurds, Turkey’s largest ethnic minority, are striving to create their own independent state. The PKK was founded in late 1970s to promote self-determination for the Kurdish community.
In December, the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of southeastern regions where fighting between Ankara forces and PKK fighters continue.