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‘Turkey has no plans to invade Syrian territories’

Nov 16,2019 - Last updated at Nov 16,2019

The article by Michael Jansen titled “Syrian oil a bone of contention between Pentagon, Trump”, includes baseless accusations about Turkey’s policy on Syria, yet again.

As the largest refugee hosting nation, Turkey provides shelter for 3.6 million Syrians, among them 350,000 Syrian Kurds. The “Operation Peace Spring” solely and precisely targeted PYD/YPG, which is the Syrian extension of internationally recognised PKK terrorist organisation. Under no circumstances does PYD/YPG represent the Syrian Kurds. There are numerous reports on terrorist PYD/YPG’s human rights violations.

Objectives of the said operation were clear: To ensure Turkey’s border security, to neutralise terrorists in the region and facilitate the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced Syrians to their home country. Indeed, having successfully concluded “Operation Euphrates Shield” in 2017 and “Operation Olive Branch” in 2018, Turkey cleared an area over 4,000 from Daesh and PYD/YPG terror, allowing more than 360,000 Syrians to return to their homes.

Contrary to the claims of the author, Turkey has no plans whatsoever to invade Syrian territories. Turkey’s cross-border counter-terrorism efforts contribute to the territorial integrity and unity of Syria by disrupting separatist agendas. As a result of the “Operation Peace Spring” and the agreements reached between Turkey and the United States, and the Russian Federation, legitimate security concerns of Turkey emanating from PKK/PYD/YPG terrorism have been recognised, and commitment to the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and unity has been restated.

“Operation Peace Spring” is a result of a legitimate national security concern, but is not associated with domestic politics. Turkey had to carry out this operation due to imminent threat from PYD/YPG terrorist organisation.

Lastly, that “Turkey does not want a peace deal to be reached in the Geneva talks” is a hallucinatory allegation and a perfect example of a biased and twisted approach, if not a malicious intention. It is well-known that Turkey has played a critical role in Astana Process and has spent tremendous efforts in forming the Constitutional Committee, which paved the way for the Geneva talks. Turkey genuinely wishes concrete results from the Geneva talks and supports efforts to reach sustainable peace and stability in Syria.


Cafer Olcay Karaka

Third Secretary

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

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