Turkey, Middle East

PKK’s presence in Sinjar not to be tolerated: Erdogan

President Erdogan said official would meet with Turkish National Intelligence Organization head

Merve Aydoğan   | 26.03.2018
PKK’s presence in Sinjar not to be tolerated: Erdogan

Ankara

By Merve Aydogan 

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said an Iraqi official was to arrive in Turkey the same day to discuss the terrorist activities in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province of Sinjar district.

Erdogan's statement came during a news conference held ahead of his visit to the Bulgarian city of Varna to attend the EU-Turkey summit.  

He affirmed the reports that PKK terrorists were withdrawing from the Sinjar district and Iraqi troops were being deployed to the region, saying that the Iraqi army did intervene against the terrorists.

“We hope that the Iraqi Central Government is on top of this operation in Sinjar. If there is an issue with achieving success in this [operation] then lets hold our bilateral talks. We [Turkey] will take the necessary steps in Sinjar as well,” he added.  

Erdogan noted that Sinjar is located about 60-70 kilometers away from Turkey’s border, stressing that his country has “no more tolerance” for presence of terrorists in Sinjar.  

The president also announced the impending arrival of an Iraqi official to Turkey in order to provide information regarding latest developments.  

The official is to meet with Hakan Fidan, the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Erdogan said. 

He added that Turkey was ready to take all necessary measures in case of a possible threat to the country.  

The PKK first established a foothold in Sinjar in 2014 on the pretext that it was “protecting” the local Ezidi community from the Daesh terrorist group. 

Turkish President also recently hinted at the possibility of a military campaign aimed at dislodging the PKK from Sinjar. 

Regarding Syria's Manbij region, Erdogan once again called on the U.S. to transfer the control of Manbij from YPG/PKK terrorist organization to the city’s “real owners”.  

Turkey-EU relations

Erdogan asserted that EU membership continues to be Turkey's strategic goal and said: "We will continue our talks with the EU, in accordance with the active role that our country plays in its [geographical] location, power, region and the world."  

Underlining that Turkey and the EU have high-level dialogue mechanisms in the areas from economy to energy, from transportation to counter-terrorism, Erdogan urged the EU to provide "clear" cooperation in Turkey's counter-terrorism efforts.

"It is imperative that we have full support from our European friends in our fight against terror in efforts to build confidence between the two sides," he added.


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