ANKARA (Hurriyet)–Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the U.S. to help Turkey in its war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by providing the Turkish military with than just “intelligence sharing,” the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday.
Erdogan made his remarks early Monday during a press conference in Toronto, where he attended the G-20 summit over the weekend and met separately with US President Barack Obama.
According to the Turkish leader, an anti-terror mechanism set up between Turkey, Iraq and the United States should include functions other than “intelligence sharing.” Erdogan said he discussed this issue in talks with Obama.
“This is being negotiated within the trilateral mechanism. I think that the steps to be taken in this regard will be implemented,” Erdogan said before his departure from Toronto.
Erdogan said he and Obama focused on Turkey’s war against the PKK, disagreements over Iran sanctions and the ongoing row between Turkey and Israel.
Erdogan said he asked Obama to enlarge American cooperation with Turkey against the PKK in light of what Erdogan called a recently launched “terror campaign” by the Kurdish freedom movement.
The U.S. has been providing Turkey with intelligence since late 2007 and initiated the establishment of what they call the trilateral mechanism – a broad cooperative measure between Turkey, Iraq and the U.S. intended to restrict the movement of the PKK in Northern Iraq.
Erdogan, however, said Turkey is unsatisfied with its function. He said Turkey has long been expecting a more operational form of cooperation against the PKK, but neither side has been willing to respond.
“It seems that the region is ruled by the separatist terrorist organization [the PKK]. On the one hand we’ll talk about the territorial integrity of this country [Iraq], but on the other hand we’ll talk about a part of this country captured by the terror organization,” Erdogan said.