Turkey to take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights: Minister
“Whatever needs to protect and safeguard our rights and interests will be done at the right time and place ... Let no one doubt it,” Akar said in his speech marking the new academic year of National Defense University.
Stating that Turkey respects the borders and sovereignty rights of all its neighbors, Akar said: “On the other hand, it is our duty to protect our country. If there are terrorists there, if you can’t take any action against them, then we have to do it.”
Turkey is determined to save its nation from terror, Akar said, emphasizing that Ankara would not allow the formation of a “terror corridor” along its southern border with Syria.
“On the other hand, one will come from thousands of kilometers to our south and will say that some actions threaten its security. [But] we will remain ignorant of the formations near our borders. Such a thing is unthinkable. We did not and will not allow the creation of a terror corridor there in any way,” he said, indirectly referring to the U.S. forces in Syria.
His statement comes a day after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said both Russia and the U.S. are also responsible for attacks by the PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG.
Two Turkish special operation police officers were recently killed in northern Syria when the terror group struck an armed vehicle with a guided missile.
Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey ran out of patience due to repeated attacks on Turkish forces and territories in the region.
Noting that Turkey closely follows all the developments in the north of Iraq and Syria, the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, Akar said, “It is our duty to protect the rights of our noble nation and every bit of its law.”
On agreements with the U.S. and Russia on northern Syria, he said Turkey takes its responsibilities “seriously and fulfills them carefully.”
“We fulfill our responsibilities there. Likewise, we do what we have to do within the framework of international law, within good neighborly relations in the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus,” the minister said. “We are committed to peace and dialogue.”