Turkey to stage counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria to ensure border security


By Osman Ozgan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will conduct a counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria to secure its southern borders, the Yeni Shafak daily reported.

Addressing the meeting of the parliamentary group of the Justice and Development (AK) party, Erdogan said that Tel Rifat and Manbij will be cleared of terrorists during the 5th operation to be carried out in Syria.

“We are entering a new phase in our decision to create a 30 kilometer deep security zone along our southern borders. We are ridding Tel Rifat and Manbij of terrorists. Then we will do the same, step by step, in other regions. Let’s see who will support these legitimate security measures of Turkey, who will try to hinder them,” Erdogan stressed.

Erdogan pointed out that the West, indifferent to the security problems and humanitarian tragedies along Turkey’s southern borders, found itself in the midst of a similar crisis with a burning conflict that began north of the Black Sea. .

“Those who faced a very small part of the burden for only 3 months and started to complain, we have been dealing with them for 11 years. Those who have used their opportunities to increase their own well-being instead of contributing to the security alliances, of which Turkey has borne all the burden for years, have come to NATO’s doorstep after the Ukraine crisis. The Swedish and Finnish NATO candidacies are the product of such a process,” said underlined Erdogan.

Speaking about the possible admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO, Erdogan said that Turkey would refuse their membership as long as these nations supported terrorist organizations.

“We immediately and openly declared that we were against the NATO membership of the two countries because of their support for the terrorist organization PKK and its affiliates. NATO is a security agency. NATO is not a support organization for terrorist organizations,” Erdogan stressed.

The Turkish leader said that the words of those who welcome representatives of the PKK terrorist organization and its affiliates at the highest level, that they respect Turkey’s efforts in the fight against terrorism, are not credible.

“Will a country so closely tied to terrorist organizations adopt a resilient stance in the face of the common enemy? Will those who refer to our efforts to secure our southern borders from terrorists as an “occupation” stand with us against the common enemy? We will not change our position until we find satisfactory, conclusive and clear answers to these questions and see binding documents,” Erdogan stressed.

The Turkish president also commented on Greece’s recent mannerisms, pointing out that from Libya to Karabakh, there are victory songs wherever Turkey supports its brothers.

“We have and break every conspiracy made in our region that will have negative consequences for us,” he said.

Recalling that Turkey concluded a high-level strategic advisory agreement with Greece some time ago, Erdogan said that Turkey canceled this agreement due to Greece’s irresponsible ways.

“I also informed my Minister of Foreign Affairs. We broke our agreement with Greece at the High Level Strategy Council. By eliminating this agreement, I have informed my colleagues that we no longer have bilateral conversations with them, and neither do you. Because Greece is going in the wrong direction,” Erdogan added.

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