Syrian problem becoming 'global' issue: Erdogan
Turkish president says Syrian problem is not just an issue of the Syrian people or neighboring countries
The Syrian crisis has taken on global dimensions beyond its immediate region, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
“I believe that the whole world comprehends or will comprehend this reality that the Syrian problem is not only an issue of the Syrian people or of some neighboring countries. The repercussions of this crisis have taken on global dimensions with respect to other regions," Erdogan said at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport before leaving for New York, where he will attend the UN General Assembly.
Erdogan called on developed countries to take responsibility for the Syrian issue, adding that the UN not solving the crisis is an "embarrassment."
During his visit to New York, Erdogan will attend a program making the first anniversary of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and will also give a speech on Turkey's July 15 attempted coup, which left more than 240 people martyred.
"During the summit speech, I will mention in great detail the weighty responsibilities that Turkey has taken on since the beginning of the Syrian crisis," he said.
Erdogan is also expected to reiterate the need for a “safe zone” for refugees in northern Syria as well as talk about Turkey’s recent Operation Euphrates Shield, which has served to ease the refugee crisis.
Erdogan said that fulfillment of three conditions – a safe zone, a no-fly zone, and a train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels – this will help solve the refugee issue.
The Turkish military launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey's border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery, and jets.
Erdogan reiterated that Turkey is "definitely" against the formation of a "terror corridor" formed by the terrorist PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the PYD/YPG, in northern Syria.
"The Syrian people, particularly Jarabulus residents, returned to the region, which was cleared of Daesh," Erdogan said.
He also said that the Turkish Red Crescent, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and non-governmental organizations are helping to meet Syrians’ needs.
Erdogan said Turkey will continue to fight terrorism, adding: "We are also conducting successful operations within the boundaries [of Turkey] against the extensions of crime networks like FETO [the Fetullah Terrorist Organization], Daesh, and the PKK."
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU – resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year. Since then, more than 600 security personnel have been martyred and more than 7,000 PKK terrorists killed.
Turkey's government has repeatedly said the deadly coup plot on July 15, which martyred 240 people and injured some 2,200 others, was organized by followers of U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen -the head of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.