Kurds slam Turkey ‘safe zone’

A top Kurd has said a "safe zone" Turkey and the U.S. plan to create in Syria is an attempt by Ankara to stop Kurds from forming their own territory

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A "safe zone" Turkey and the U.S. are creating in Syria is an attempt by Ankara to stop Kurds from forming their own territory, the leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish party has told the BBC.

Chairman of the People’s Democratic Republic (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas has called on Turkey and the PKK to return to peace negotiations – follow a series of recent clashes between the two sides.

The so-called safe zone was announced after ISIS-linked militants carried out attacks on Turkish border towns – including a recent attack on Suruc last week where 32 people were killed – the BBC added.

Now the U.S. and Turkey have been working on plans to create a buffer zone in northern Syria which would be cleared of ISIS militants.

But Demirtas told the BBC: “Turkey doesn't intend to target IS with this safe zone. The Turkish government was seriously disturbed by Kurds trying to create an autonomous state in Syria,”

He said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would ensure that such a state was never formed.

He added: “So, the safe zone is intended to stop the Kurds, not IS. In fact, Turkey should work with Kurdish forces to create this area. They should collaborate.”

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