Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ankara on alert over developments in northern Syria

Turkish leadership has visibly intensified its focus on cementing security at the country’s border with Syria, which has recently been the scene of an influx of some 23,000 Syrians into Turkey during the fight between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to seize the border town of Tal Abyad.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a meeting with members of the government and senior bureaucrats late June 17. He is scheduled to chair yet another security meeting late June 18.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk, Turkey’s disaster agency chairman Fuat Oktay and relevant bureaucrats attended at the meeting, according to presidency sources.

Kurdish fighters in Syria have taken control of the border town of Tal Abyad, dealing a significant blow to ISIL’s ability to wage war in Syria by cutting off a supply line to Raqqa.

The Kurdish advance prompted some 23,000 people to flee into Turkey, but on June 17, the first returnees said they were eager to return home.

Turkey has conveyed concerns and warnings to the U.S. and other coalition member states about the risk of change in the region’s demography after the “cleaning and placement of some elements” by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia units, after the U.S.-led airstrikes, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said earlier.

Turkey considers Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) to be an offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

The Turkish government had earlier expressed strong concerns about the imposition of a de facto autonomous region in the north of Syria after the PKK-affiliated PYD increased its control in the area.


1 comment:

  1. Ankara warns PYD over ‘demographic change’ in northern Syria...

    Ankara “will not permit its red lines to be crossed” in northern Syria after a key town on the Turkish border was captured by Kurdish forces from extremist jihadists, warning Kurds not to force Turkmens and Arabs out of the region.

    According to evaluations made by the Foreign Ministry, which were presented in two high-level security meetings last week, Turkey will continue to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on all platforms, but it will not allow the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and captured the border town Tal Abyad from ISIL last week, to cross Turkey’s red lines in Syria.

    The points made in the document, prepared by the Foreign Ministry and obtained by daily Hürriyet, have been approved by the President’s Office, Prime Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).


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