Turkey won’t leave safe zones beyond borders anytime soon: Erdoğan

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Turkey will keep its presence in the areas that it cleared of the terrorists out of its borders as long as it’s necessary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, noting that northern Iraq’s Gara province has now been made secure as a result of a four-day military operation.

“We will stay in the areas that we have made safe in a bid to avoid similar attacks [by the terrorists],” Erdoğan told at his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) convention in the Black Sea town of Trabzon on Feb. 16.

Erdoğan did not name these areas but he clearly referred to northern Iraq and northern Syria where Turkey created safe areas through consecutive cross-border operations against the presence of the PKK and its offshoot, the YPG.

“Gara was a troubled region. It’s taken now and [the problem] is gone,” Erdoğan said, stressing that troops will continue to control the area in the coming period.

Vowing that anti-terror operations will continue without stops, Erdoğan informed that the army will expand its activities in the regions from where terrorist threats against Turkey are still being posed.

The Gara incident has once again shown the true face of those who are not genuinely standing against the PKK, Erdoğan stated.

“It should be known that the pain of our martyrs is sharpening our determination against terrorism. We will bump them off wherever they hide,” he added.

He also criticized the West for remaining silent on the killing of 13 Turkish citizens.

“Apart from some hoarse voices, we could not see anybody standing by us. Hey West, why do you remain silent?” he said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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