Turkey neighboring three regions in crisis, chief of staff says
AA photoChief of General Staff Hulusi Akar has said Turkey is the only NATO member country that is neighboring three crisis areas, namely Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, speaking at NATO’s Military Committee conference in Istanbul late on Sept. 12.
“These crises are in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. These threats affect not only the region but also global security.
It is time for NATO to discuss how to provide security and safety in such an atmosphere,” said Akar.
“If we do not give a response to these threats, we will face more serious problems. On the other hand, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also affecting our alliance and region,” he added.
Akar gave the opening speech of a meeting where NATO officials gathered in Istanbul on Sept. 12 to discuss regional security and challenges, as well as NATO’s current mission in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans.
In his speech, he also said the Turkish military is fighting against “all kinds of terror organizations.”
“As you all know, we are continuing our fight against terror in Turkey and abroad determinately, shoulder to shoulder,” said Akar.
“We are determinately fighting against all kinds of terror organizations ... We are doing the same for Daesh, regardless of who they are and what they do,” he added upon a question on the current situation in the fight against Islamic State and Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“We have conducted [the anti-terror fight against] in line with the council’s decisions,” Akar said.
The chief of staff vowed that Turkey would continue its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“The PKK terror organization poses a threat to regional security. Taking advantage of the situation in Syria and Iraq, the PKK is trying to become legitimate in the eyes of the international community. But it continues to stage brutal attacks against innocent people, including children and old people,” he said.
“In the east, we are aware of the effects of instability in the region. The situation in Iraq and Syria is very complicated. Turkey is hosting more than 2 million Syrian and Iraqi people and spent more than $6 billion.
The refugee problem is increasing for the region and it is also a global problem,” Akar added.