Turkey warns against creation of 2nd Afghanistan
Policies that will lead to a second Afghanistan in the Mediterranean should be avoided, said the spokesman of Turkey's ruling party on Syrian crisis on Monday. As Yeni Safak reports, speaking at a news conference at the Justice and Development (AK) Party headquarters in Ankara, Ömer Çelik said some countries used terrorist groups as proxies in Afghanistan and now it has become impossible to control them.
He stated that the same thing could happen in Syria if the support to terrorist groups is not cut off. Çelik said the victims of these "irrational policies which were proven to be wrong many times" hurt Afghans, Syrians, and those who want democracy and human rights. "Policies which will form a second Afghanistan in the Mediterranean should be avoided as the world is paying such a high price to maintain stability in Afghanistan," Çelik said.
Turkey strongly condemns the U.S. of backing YPG/PKK terror group in Syria by pitting it against Daesh. "However," Çelik said, "if you send truckloads of weapons to YPG/PYD/PKK terror group, if you embrace them like a legitimate power on the pretext of fight against Daesh and moreover if you say about this terror group that 'It is our ally which we work within the field' to Turkish Republic, your NATO ally... then you create another Afghanistan in the world with your own hand and money."
The situation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria is a prime threat for Turkey and Ankara will eliminate it, he said, citing the presence of YPG/PKK terrorists in the region. "Those talking about Syria's territorial integrity and its people's sovereignty should take a principled stance against terror groups," Çelik said warning that these ties with terror groups were delaying a political solution in Syria.
About the U.S. decision to pull out from Syria, Çelik said: "Turkey has the capacity to fight Daesh and to take over security in [Syria's] Manbij. Thus, it has the capacity to form a safe zone [in Syria]." Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced plans to withdraw American forces from the war-weary country.
Trump made the decision during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination vis-à-vis Syria. In a phone call last week, Erdogan and Trump discussed the idea of establishing a terror-free safe zone in northern Syria near the Turkish border.