ANKARA (AA): Turkey pursues the freedom of the Arabs and the Kurds with its presence in Syria, President RecepTayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
“We consider the security and peace of the Arabs in Syria as our own business. We see the problems of the Kurds as our own,” Erdogan told a ceremony at the Presidential Complex in capital Ankara.
Turkey also regards the security and the peace of the Turkmens as its own business, the president said.
He added: “Why have we presence in Syria now? To give the freedom of our Arab and Kurdish brothers there back, not that of terror groups.” Erdogan went on to say: “In Syria, it is a matter of freedom and its territorial integrity.”
Turkey will not leave Syrian Kurds at the mercy of the terrorist PKK/PYD, as it didn’t leave the Arabs to the hands of the Daesh terror group, he said.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
Erdogan recalled that nearly 300,000 Syrians left Turkey to return to hometowns, liberated from terrorists in Turkey’s counter-terror operations.
Turkey ensured the security in the Jarabulus city of northern Syria and Afrin, northwestern Syrian city, the president said.
He added that Turkey will also ensure security in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Monday that the Israeli premier “lately seemed disturbed because he knows he couldn’t divide Syria.”
Speaking at a news conference alongside his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Benjamin Netanyahu had sympathy for the PKK terrorist group as “he was planning to divide Syria using PKK/YPG.”
“When his plan collapsed, he seemed disturbed … The common feature of the PKK and Netanyahu is that they are both baby killers,” said Cavusoglu.
On Sunday, Netanyahu attacked the Turkish president over Turkey’s counter-terror operation and Cyprus issues on Twitter.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
The foreign minister reiterated Turkey’s determination “to eliminate the terrorist organizations in Turkey and outside of Turkey, wherever they are.”
“Turkish soldiers have killed more than 3,000 Daesh terrorists in Syria and nearly 1,000 in Iraq,” Cavusoglu added.
Asked about the situation in Libya, Cavusoglu said Turkey asked NATO to increase its training support in the country.
“But beyond that, we fully support the ongoing political process [in Libya] and the efforts of the United Nations, as well as the efforts of [the UN envoy to Libya] Ghassan Salame together with Tunisia. That’s why I visited Libya two days ago,” he said.
Cavusoglu also congratulated Tunisia for its democratic and successful local elections.
“We need to further develop our economic relations. Turkey also does not think differently from Tunisia about having a balanced trade.