Turkey has the right to keep its troops in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
Erdogan was speaking to reporters prior to his visit to Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, where he will attend the 5th Summit of Heads of State of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
“Turkey is not reducing its troops in Northern Cyprus. We keep our soldiers in there as much as needed,” Erdogan said referring to speculation over Northern Cyprus.
Commenting on an attack on a Turkish army observation point in Syria’s Idlib on Thursday which left three soldiers wounded, Erdogan said that Turkey will not remain silent if the Syrian regime continues such attacks.
"[...] We want peace to prevail there [Idlib], we want deaths to stop. But the continuation of attacks on this area with barrel and phosphorus bombs can never be forgiven, and we cannot remain silent because we pay attention to the voice of the people in this region," he said.
Erdogan stressed that they cannot set the Adana Agreement aside because Turkey continues and will continue to fight against terror organizations in the regions as part of the agreement.
In 1998 Syria and Turkey signed a pact under which Damascus agreed to work actively to resolve Turkey's concerns regarding the terrorist PKK.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women and children.
“Our partner, the U.S., did not keep its promise on Manbij. The expectations will not come true. However, it does not mean that we give up on the Manbij issue, we keep all our plans and we will continue to do,” Erdogan said on the Turkey-U.S. cooperation in Manbij.
Turkey is mulling a new counter-terror operation in Syria including Manbij.
Reporting by Sibel Kurtoglu, Cigdem Alyanak, Etem Geylan and Berk Ozkan
Writing by Burak Bir