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    Erdogan accuses the West of siding with “terrorists”

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Western countries of “siding with the terrorists” against Turkey by criticising Ankara’s offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.

    “Can you imagine the whole West stood by the terrorists and all attacked us, including NATO member states and European Union countries?” Erdogan said in an address in Istanbul.

    Turkey launched the offensive on 9 October in the northeast of Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, YPG, a group Turkey describes as “terrorist”, but which is supported by Western countries in the fight against ISIS.

    Turkey’s military operation, suspended on Thursday under a fragile truce negotiated between Ankara and Washington, had been sharply criticised by the international community, much to the annoyance of Erdogan, who asked NATO, of which Turkey is a member, to show “empathy”.

    “Since when did you start to side with terror?” he asked. “Did PYD-YPG join NATO and we do not know about it?”

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times