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The head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD) −affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)− visited Turkey on Friday to hold talks with Turkish officials concerning the recent developments in the Kurdish areas in northern Syria and the Turkish fears in this regard.
Kurdish group with links to militants in Turkey has flown to Istanbul for talks with government officials after an upsurge in fighting near the Turkish border, Kurdish political sources said on Friday.
Saleh Muslim, head of the PYD, whose armed forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) have seized control of areas in northern Syria over the past year, arrived in Turkey late on Thursday, Kurdish sources told Reuters.
According to sources, the Turkish government officials could not confirm Muslim’s arrival, saying that there were no plans for any high-level meetings between officials and the Kurdish leader.
Muslim intends to meet Foreign Ministry officials and the Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, Reuters said.
Last week, the PYD leader said that the group aims to set up an administrative decentralized council to run the Kurdish areas north and north-east of Syria.
The plan is meant to enable Kurds to administer their public affairs in the Kurdish regions in Syria until the ongoing war in Syria ends and a new democratic government in elected.
However, reports revealed Turkey’s fears of an independent Kurdish entity in Syria, “which will necessarily have consequences on the Kurdish situation in Turkey”. Thus, the Kurdish forces’ control in some areas in northern Syria represented an alarming sign for the Turkish government, the fact that led Muslim to head to Ankara and discuss the Turkish fears. But the details and outcome of such talks are unknown yet.
The PYD’s capture of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, this month, has fuelled Turkish fears that Kurdish gains in Syria could embolden the home-grown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels, who are currently in talks with Ankara to end their armed struggle in exchange for greater rights for Turkey’s Kurds.