Türkiye cannot be expected to stay silent in the face of the growing terror threat along its southern border, the country’s president said on Dec. 13.
Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara before flying to Turkmenistan to attend the first Türkiye-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan trilateral summit, Erdoğan said, “It is not possible for Türkiye to remain silent on terror attacks launched from northern Syria,” without specifying the date for a possible land operation across the border into northern Syria to eliminate the threat.
In answer to a question about a possible ground operation into Syria’s north, Erdoğan said that it is not appropriate to announce a timeframe or location, and added: “However, the goals we have agreed upon with Mr. Putin in the Sochi Memorandum are clear. I have reminded him of them. We have a goal of 30-km depth southwards from the border. Unfortunately, our country faces a continuous terrorist threat from this region. They have significantly intensified recently. It is not possible for us to remain silent in the face of them. Just like the steps we have taken with the operation Claw-Lock, we cannot remain silent to the off-and-on attacks against our lands originating from Syria’s north. We warn and remind about this. We have requested support from him for future joint steps with Russia and, maybe, for the implementation. We can never compromise on this issue because it is my country that faces terrorist threat and while that is the case we are not supposed to ask anyone for permission.”
Describing the Awaza Summit as the newest and latest example of these efforts, President Erdoğan said: “Energy, transportation and trade issues will be the main agenda items of the summit. We will also sign various agreements to strengthen the contractual basis of our relations. We will therefore reinforce the existing mechanisms of cooperation between our institutions responsible for energy, transportation, trade, economy, customs, education, science and culture.”
Hurriyet Daily News