The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), denounced as a terrorist group by Turkey, last month inaugurated its first representative office abroad — in Moscow. A Kurdish speaker at the ceremony hailed the event as “a historic moment for the Kurdish people” before lauding his hosts: “Russia is a big power and a prominent actor in the Middle East. In fact, it’s not only an actor, but also a scriptwriter.”
The PYD is an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which sits even higher on Turkey's blacklist. Portraits of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan adorn the walls of the PYD office in Moscow, suggesting Turkey’s accusations are not baseless. Yet Russia clearly disagrees. Turkey’s Nov. 24 downing of a Russian military jet in Syria caused a dramatic rupture in ties, and the enraged government of Russian President Vladimir Putin had no scruples about embracing “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy.