Skip to main content

Turkey backtracking on 'red lines' for Syria's Kurds

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly agreed to accept Kurdish participation at the Syria congress in Sochi, as long as those Kurds do not belong to the Democratic Union Party.
People sit in the back of a truck as they celebrate what they said was the liberation of villages from Islamist rebels near the city of Ras al-Ain in the province of Hasakah, after capturing it from Islamist rebels November 6, 2013. Redur Xelil, spokesman for the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said Kurdish militias had seized the city of Ras al-Ain and all its surrounding villages. Syrian Kurdish fighters have captured more territory from Islamist rebels in northeastern Syria
Read in 

Since the outbreak of war in Syria, Turkey’s predicaments have forced it to turn a number of its red lines to yellow lines. Now, Turkey seems to be taking a step back on the Kurdish issue.

A sensitive topic these days is whether the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) — the prime mover behind the push for “democratic autonomy” in northern Syria — will be invited to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress that Russia is organizing in Sochi. In return for cooperating with Moscow and Tehran in the Astana process, Ankara wants to get dividends on the Kurdish issue. Ankara's two critical demands are known: a green light for a military move on Afrin to uproot affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the PYD’s exclusion from the Sochi congress.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.