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Turkey won’t accept “region of terror” in northern Syria

Turkey will not accept a “region of terror” in northern Syria and the ethnic structure of the area should be kept intact, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday, comments that appeared aimed at a Syrian-Kurdish militia.

His comments at news conference in Ankara came after the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia said Russia was setting up a military base in northwestern Syria and would help train YPG fighters .

Turkey considers the YPG, which is part of a U.S.-backed militia fighting Islamic State in northern Syria, to be a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Turkey uses metaphors about “fascism” because it is worried about the future of its European friends and hopes they will remember their bloody history and not fall into the trap of Nazism, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus also stated.

Speaking at a news conference, Kurtulmus also said European countries need to take measures against racism.

His comments could deepen tension with Europe, particularly Germany, which is growing increasingly frustrated by Ankara’s references to its wartime past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded again on Monday that Turkey stop comparing bans on rallies by Turkish officials to Nazi tactics, and said her government reserved the right to block future appearances by ministers unless Ankara complied with German law.

Alexa Stewart