(changes Turkey to Syria in second para)
ISTANBUL May 3 Turkey will continue to take
measures against threats from its southern borders with Syria
and Iraq, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
Erdogan, speaking at a news conference with Russian
President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in the Black Sea city
of Sochi, said he believed Putin would play a major role in
establishing a ceasefire in Syria.
Erdogan said Turkey considered the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which
the United States supports as an ally against Islamic State
militants, as no different from the radical Sunni group.
"We do not differentiate between terrorist organisations.
Daesh, YPG, Al Qaeda are all the same for us," Erdogan said, in
comments broadcast live on television. Daesh is an Arabic name
for the Islamic State militant group.
"It is our mutual responsibility to scrape away their
roots," he said.
Erdogan has repeatedly criticised the United States for its
support of the YPG in the fight against Islamic State. Turkey
sees the group as a extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers
Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency in
Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.
Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against Kurdish
militants in northeastern Syria and Iraq's Sinjar region last
month in an unprecedented bombardment of groups affiliated with
the militant PKK.
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by David
Dolan; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Tom Heneghan)