Türkiye seeks nobody’s consent for military op in Syria: FM

Türkiye seeks nobody’s consent for military op in Syria: FM

Türkiye seeks nobody’s consent for military op in Syria: FM

Türkiye has never sought and will never seek anybody’s consent before holding cross-border operations into Syria, Türkiye’s top diplomat has said, admitting that Astana Process partners Iran and Syria are not endorsing such military actions.

“It’s obvious that these two countries are opposing to our operations as it was in the past. Their statements are there but what is important is what we are saying, what our president is saying. We never sought consent from anybody in the past,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told in an interview with the state-run broadcaster TRT on July 21.

His statement came after the presidents of Türkiye, Iran and Russia held a summit in Tehran where the recent developments in Syria were evaluated, including counterterrorism. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had already said Türkiye is committed to clearing the YPG terrorists from Tal Rifaat and Manbij in the eastern Euphrates.

Iran and Russia did not endorse Türkiye’s plans and argued that such a military operation can destabilize Syria and can put the security of all countries in danger. Erdoğan, in response, stressed that the YPG is a threat to the territorial integrity of Syria and that Türkiye will wipe it out from northern Syria.

Recalling that Türkiye held a cross-border operation against the YPG in late 2019 and paused it following the promises given by the United States and Russia through two separate protocols, Çavuşoğlu said: “Both these countries promised to clear the YPG/PKK terrorists from the region. As these promises were not fulfilled until now, these terrorists continued and increased their attacks against Syrians inside Syria and against our troops, police and our territories. What would America and Russia do in such a situation?”

As a result of augmented attacks by the PKK, both Syrian civilians and Turkish troops are being killed and martyred, the minister stressed. “This threat will endure as long as these terrorists continue to exist there. And we can remain idle in such a situation. As a matter of fact, we never sought to get consent for our operations so far. And we won’t seek. We are always on alert,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Türkiye, Finland, Sweden to convene joint committee

In the meantime, Çavuşoğlu informed that the permanent mechanism established by Türkiye, Sweden and Finland as a result of a trilateral memorandum of understanding will hold its first meeting in August.

Türkiye lifted its veto on the two Nordic states’ application to join NATO after they promised to cooperate with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations, including the PKK, YPG and the FETÖ. But the final approval will be given by the Turkish Parliament, which is expected to resume its activities by Oct. 1.

“If these countries are not implementing the points included in the memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Çavuşoğlu said, reaffirming Erdoğan’s statement that Ankara may freeze the process if they don’t comply with the agreement.

On a question about the U.S. policies towards Greece, Çavuşoğlu has accused Washington of deviating from its balanced approach between Türkiye and Greece, especially in the context of the problems stemming from the Aegean Sea. “The U.S. should return to its balanced policy [between Türkiye and Greece],” the foreign minister suggested.

TURKEY, Diplomacy,