Erdogan calls for Turkic states to support Syrian Operation
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for Turkic-speaking countries to stand by Turkey in its fight against what the Turkish head of state has labeled "terrorism", as Ankara pushes ahead its military campaign against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria in its eighth day.
“We are expecting very strong solidarity from you, brothers, in the struggle against terrorism in Turkey,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle's Turkish Service on Tuesday.
Erdogan’s statement comes days after Azerbaijan condemned all forms of terrorism activities in the region and extended its full support to Ankara’s military campaign in northeastern Syria.
“We are confident that the operation “Peace Spring” of the Armed Forces of Turkey will serve to eliminate the terror risks, return refugees to their homes, solve the humanitarian problems and provide peace and stability within the territorial integrity of Syria,” the statement of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs read on Oct. 10.
Erdogan, who is in Azerbaijan to attend the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council), said in his speech in Baku that Turkey had cleared “an area of around 1000 square kilometers” from Kurdish fighters of YPG.
He also said with the military operation, Ankara aims to eliminate Kurdish-led forces from northern Syria and create a “safe zone" near the border where he plans to resettle 3 million Syrian refugees, state news agency Anadolu reported on Tuesday.
The Turkish offensive started a day after the United States announced it would withdraw its troops from northeast Syria, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with YPG Kurdish fighters as its main part without support in the region. Kurdish-led forces have been a close ally of the United States in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS). Ankara considers YPG to be connected to PKK, a Kurdish militant group inside Turkey that the country considers a terrorist organization.
In the meantime, Erdogan also expressed that Turkey will continue its efforts with regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Likewise, the Turkish president urged the heads of the Turkic-speaking countries attending the summit to consider the Cyprus issue and asked for the help of the states attending the summit to break the isolation and embargo imposed on the Northern Cyprus Turks.
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