Turkey, World

YPG/PKK terror group as dangerous as Daesh: Erdogan

Turkey does not have any problem with its Kurdish brothers, but rather with terrorist organizations, says President Erdogan

Burak Bir, Yildiz Aktas   | 24.10.2019
YPG/PKK terror group as dangerous as Daesh: Erdogan

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday urged the world to understand that YPG/PKK terror group is as dangerous as Daesh.

"For democracy, rule of law and human rights, I invite the whole world to see, accept and take a position. YPG/PKK is as dangerous a terrorist organization as Daesh," Erdogan said, at a ceremony for new district governors in the capital Ankara.

He reiterated that Turkey does not have any problem with its Kurdish brothers, but rather with terrorist organizations.

Erdogan also mentioned that a safe zone in northern Syria will allow nearly two million Syrian refugees to return to their homes.

The Turkish president also recalled that his country is not eyeing Syria's territorial integrity.

"Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, we have embraced innocent people who were trying to save their lives on the one hand, and on the other hand we tried to ensure the security of our borders," he said.

Referring to European Parliament General Assembly's proposal of a no-fly zone in Syria, Erdogan said: "We brought this proposal to the agenda when hundreds of thousands of innocent people were dying under the shelling of fighter jets of the regime and other forces throughout Syria."

Erdogan pointed out that until now the area under control of Turkey has reached 4,220 square kilometers (1629.35 square miles) in the region.

"Because we carry the biggest burden and we are the ones who pay the biggest price," he said, referring to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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