Turkey will not leave Syria until Syrian people have an election, Erdogan says

Turkey will not leave Syria until the Syrian people hold an election, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2018

Turkey will not leave Syria until Syrian people have an election, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL: Turkey will not leave Syria until the Syrian people hold an election, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
“Whenever the Syrian people hold an election, we will leave Syria to its owners after they hold their elections,” Erdogan said at a forum in Istanbul.
Erdogan agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month to set up a demilitarized zone between rebel and government fighters in northern Syria. It also has a presence in the northwest Afrin region and further east, around Jarablus.
Erdogan also said on Thursday that Turkey is not experiencing difficulty in conducting talks with radical groups in Idlib, the last major rebel-controlled enclave outside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s control.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which includes the Al-Qaeda-linked group formerly known as Nusra Front, is the most powerful extremist alliance in Idlib. Turkey designated the group a terrorist organization in August, matching a decision by the United Nations in June.
Last month, in a summit in Sochi, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to create a demilitarized zone with a depth of 15-20 km, from which radical groups will withdraw by Oct. 15.
On Thursday, Erdogan said that in addition to 12 observation hosted by Turkey in the area, Russia has 10 observation points and Iran has six.
“Securing this corridor means securing Idlib,” he said. “And we have started fortifying our observation posts.”


Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

Updated 01 December 2020

Turkey, Russia seal deal for Karabakh ‘peacekeeping center’

  • The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire
  • Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed

ANKARA: Turkey and Russia have agreed to monitor a truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region from a joint peacekeeping center, Ankara’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The deal comes after days of talks between Turkish and Russian officials about how the two regional powers would jointly implement a Moscow-brokered cease-fire signed this month between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Technical details for setting up the joint center were concluded and an agreement was signed, the defense ministry said in a statement, adding that it would begin work “as soon as possible.”
Turkey is a staunch ally of Azerbaijan and has fervently defended its right to take back the Nagorno-Karabakh lands Baku lost to ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1988-94 war.
The truce deal ended more than six weeks of fighting that claimed more than 1,400 lives and saw ethnic Armenians agree to withdraw from large parts of the contested region of Azerbaijan.
The Turkish parliament voted this month to deploy a mission to “establish a joint center with Russia and to carry out the center’s activities.”
The deployment is set to last a year and its size will be determined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia has said repeatedly that Turkey will have no troops on the ground under the truce deal’s terms.