Turkey should not view all Syrian Kurds as threats: Former PM
Turkey should not view all Kurds in Syria as threats or targets, Turkey’s former prime minister said on Sunday, also stressing the right of his country to take necessary measures to tackle the security concerns it faces on its borders with Syria.

“It is obvious that Turkey faces serious problems on its southern borders. Especially when we talk about Syria… Taking necessary security measures is Turkey’s right,” Ahmet Davutoglu, former Turkish PM and leader of the Future Party, told Rudaw's Mashallah Dakak on Sunday, adding that “at the same time, our Kurdish brothers in Syria, the Kurdish nation, should not be seen as threats or targets.”
In late May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a new military offensive into northern Syria to create a 30 kilometer “safe zone” along its southern border. It is aimed to push back Kurdish fighters from the area.
Davutoglu stated that since the United States monitors the security situation in that area, dialogue should be held with the US and an initiative made to ensure that no forces remain in the region that threaten the security of Turkey.
The former PM responded to claims made recently that Turkey has attempted to carry out demographic change in Syria, stating that such an occurrence was not in the best interest of Turkey, as most of those who were displaced in Syria are now refugees in Turkey.
“What is in the best interest of Turkey, and the right thing to do, is finding a solution for Syria, in a way that none of our Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, Sunni, and Alawi brothers are separated from their lands. If a demography changes once, the new demography lays the groundwork for conflict and complications, which will take years,” he added.
Mohammed Fawaz, a member of Syrian parliament who represents Aleppo, told Rudaw that Ankara has been carrying out a demographic change in Afrin since 2018. 
Afrin city in Aleppo province used to be heavily populated by Kurds before it was invaded by Turkey and its Syrian proxies in March 2018. Since then, Arabs and Turkmens from other parts of Syria have moved to the city and hundreds of thousands of Kurds have been displaced to nearby Tal Rifaat.
Turkey has launched two offensives against Kurdish fighters in Syria since 2018. It alleges that Syria’s main Kurdish militia - the People’s Protection Units, or YPG - are allied with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for the increased rights of Kurds in Turkey and viewed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.
Davutoglu, who served as Turkey’s foreign minister from 2009 to 2014 and was the country’s premier from 2014 to 2016, has sought Kurdish votes in the country’s southeastern provinces since he founded his party in 2019. He is typically after the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) - in which he served for years.
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