MHP leader says he backs US-proposed safe zone if set up by Turkey

MHP leader says he backs US-proposed safe zone if set up by Turkey


Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli has said he supports a U.S. proposal to set up a security zone along the Turkish-Syrian border on condition that it would be established and protected by the Turkish military.

“If the safe zone will be completely under Turkish control, then there’s nothing to object to. There is no problem if we set up the safe zone’s strategy,” Bahçeli said at his party’s provincial heads meeting in the capital Ankara on Jan.17.

He added that if Turkey agrees to a buffer zone, named as a safe zone, all of its accomplishments will be vanished.

“What is implied with the 20-mile safe zone? Will there be terrorist organizations? Are there any plans for a no-fly zone? Where does Russia stand on this?” Bahçeli has said.

The MHP leader also stressed Turkey’s “obligation to clear the east of Euphrates from terrorist organizations.”

“A safe zone means a zone cleared of the PKK/YPG,” he said.

Bahçeli also recalled U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent tweet threatening to devastate Turkey’s economy should it attack Kurds, saying it is aimed to keep Turkey away from its fight against terror.

“The U.S. has launched a dark campaign that protects the YPG/PKK and shows these as representatives of our Kurdish brothers,” said Bahçeli.

“The U.S. aims to keep Turkey away from the PKK/PYD/YPG. Israel, along with certain Gulf countries, is on this too,” he added, stressing that his party stands by the state and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the fight against terror.