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Ankara struggles to maintain bearings in Kobani

The Turkish government has been compelled to change track under US pressure and the need to undo the international perception that Turkey supports the Islamic State.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talk to the media before a meeting in Ankara September 12, 2014. Kerry will meet Cavusoglu, as well as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Tayyip Erdogan during his two-day visit to the capital Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR45Z12
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Relations between two major NATO allies, the United States and Turkey, have suddenly assumed a new dimension over Kobani. The last phase of the Kobani crisis has been tragic for Turkey. While Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave the impression that he was in favor of heeding the Kurds who were demanding a corridor for military and humanitarian assistance, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued to rattle them by alleging that the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the most powerful Kurdish Syrian political actor, and its military arm, the People's Defense Units (YPG), were terrorist organizations.

On Oct. 18, on his way back from Afghanistan, Erdogan told journalists accompanying him, “Something is going around nowadays. To give weapons support to PYD and with those arms open a new front against [the Islamic State] there? OK, fine, but for us at the moment, the PYD is the same as the [Kurdistan Workers Party] PKK. It, too, is a terror organization. Support for it from our NATO ally America would be very, very wrong. We cannot say yes to such a move.”

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