Friday, July 3, 2015

We will not put country at risk over Syria (Turkish PM)

Turkey’s prime minister has said he will not take any steps which would “put the country at risk” following speculation that Ankara could take military action in Syria.

"We will never take a step that would put the country at risk and allow the formation of [threatening] structures on our borders," Ahmet Davutoglu said in a live broadcast on Turkish Kanal 7 television on Thursday.

Davutoglu said that while his government would not panic and put Turkey into a war, neither it would remain unresponsive.

Touching on "structures" on the Syrian border with Turkey, Davutoglu pointed to what he called a "threatening" relationship between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the pro-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD).

He said: "Turkey will not remain indifferent to relations between the PKK and PYD if they become threatening to the country."

Turkey has designated the PYD as a terror organization. 

He said his government had made all preparations against any threats posed by the Daesh group, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as well as the PYD and its affiliates on the border.

"All measures are ready, but if there is not a situation which poses a security risk, it would not be right to create an expectation that Turkey will make a unilateral intervention," Davutoglu said.

He warned: "No one should have an expectation that Turkey would enter Syria tomorrow or in a short period," adding however, that the country would not wait for even one minute if security was attacked.

Stressing that Turkey did not want to see terrorist organizations around it, Davutoglu said: "We want to see neither terrorist group nor [Syrian] regime atrocities."

  • Davutoglu also claimed that there was cooperation between Daesh and the Assad regime, which he said paved way the PYD to gain several areas in the north of the conflict-hit Syria.

"The Syrian government launched airstrikes on the moderate opposition which left their areas and Daesh later entered these areas," said the prime minister.

This week, Turkey’s National Security Council expressed concern over “actions aiming to change the demographic structure and terrorist acts targeting the civilian population living in Syria”.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would “never allow the establishment of a new state on our southern frontier”, referring to the PYD.

Turkey has already carried out a limited military operation in Syria this year. In February, tanks crossed the border as troops relocated the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.



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