April 20, 2019 - 12:28 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned French President Emmanuel Macron for welcoming representatives from Kurdish-led Syrian forces who delivered the Islamic State its territorial defeat, bringing an end to the self-proclaimed caliphate only weeks ago, Kurdistan 24 reports.
Macron hosted a delegation which included officials from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at the Élysée Palace earlier that day and promised them the "continued active support of France" in the fight against the Islamic State, a group the palace said continued to pose a threat to world security.
In a written statement, Ankara accused Macron of "attempting to give artificial legitimacy to a terrorist organization and its extensions."
Turkey is the only country that calls the Kurdish-led and Western-backed SDF, a prominent force that fought the Islamic State and other Islamist groups for much of the Syrian civil war, a "terror group."
"This is a very wrong step which is incompatible with allies' relations," read a statement quoting a spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkey and France are NATO members, along with the United States, which militarily equips and supports the SDF on the ground and from the air.
Paris is also at odds with Ankara after Macron made April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide, a chapter in history that Turkey aggressively denies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration sees Kurdish self-administration in post-Islamic State Syria as an existential threat due to a large restive Kurdish population within its own borders who demand self-rule and cultural rights enshrined in the constitution.
There has as of yet been no public reaction from Erdogan himself or his foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who both typically employ anti-Western rhetoric over Kurdish aspirations for an independent Kurdistan.
"We remind again the importance of not allowing the advancement of agendas targeting Syria's political unity and territorial integrity and that Turkey will not hesitate to take measures it deems necessary," the spokesperson was further quoted as saying.