Turkey determined to turn attention east of Euphrates: Erdoğan
Turkey is determined to turn its attention and energy to the east of the Euphrates, rather than lingering in Manbij, the president said on Oct. 26.
“Turkey is being threatened through a terror group on the east of the Euphrates,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, referring to the YPG. “We don’t threaten anyone and we won’t let anyone do things that threaten us right beside our borders,” he said.
Turkey considers the YPG as a terror network due to its ties to the PKK, which is listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.
Erdoğan made his remarks in a meeting with his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial heads in Ankara.
He said the U.S. turned the Manbij deal between Ankara and Washington into a tool to stall Turkey.
The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of YPG forces from the city in Aleppo province, northern Syria to stabilize the region.
Erdoğan also said Turkey dissolved “a terror corridor” threatening its Syria border and any new formation would be “unacceptable.”
“They [borders with Syria] are our red lines. It isn’t possible for us to allow this [formation of new terror corridor] there,” he added.
Idlib deal with Russia
On the Idlib deal between Turkey and Russia, Erdoğan said no problems were observed in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib since then.
“There is peace in the region,” he added.
After a Sept. 17 meeting in Sochi between Erdoğan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone - in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited - in Idlib.
According to the terms of the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing a resumption of fighting.
“We have only one aim, which is to find a fair, sustainable, democratic political solution which will embrace everyone, from any sect and background on the basis of Syria’s territorial integrity to the crisis in the region,” Erdoğan noted.
‘Turkey foiled economy game’
Stating that Turkey’s economy was under attack with “no rational reason,” Erdoğan said, “A sudden rise in exchange rates was followed by the rise of interest rates and inflation.”
He added that Turkey managed to control the attack after a certain point and added: “We foiled the economy game of those who failed to bring Turkey to its knees with social tensions, political chaos, coup attempts and terror groups.”
Turkey and the U.S. have faced rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions over U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson’s detention.
Political tensions between the two countries sparked worries in the markets after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to use economic pressure to secure Brunson’s release.
On Oct. 12, a court in the western province of İzmir released Brunson from custody -- after sentencing him to three years and 45 days -- due to the time he spent in detention.