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Turkey Rejects Arming Main Syrian Kurdish Party


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected calls for Turkey to arm the main Kurdish party in Syria, describing the group as a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said October 19 that the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was the same as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a 30-year insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

The armed wing of the PYD, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), has been engaged in heavy fighting in recent weeks with the Islamic State group for control of the northern Syrian town of Kobani.

Erdogan was speaking aboard a plane as he returned from a one-day visit to Kabul.

French President Francois Hollande last week called on Turkey to open open its border to allow reinforcements to reach Kobani.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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