Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the West’s obsession with security and its approach to resolving the refugee issue.
Speaking at a press conference following the G20 Hangzhou Summit in China Monday, Erdogan said: “West’s obsession with security and even its racist approach to the refugee problem is disgraceful on behalf of humanity.”
He called for an end to differentiating between terrorist groups and urged the international community to fight “all” of them.
“We should reject the perception of differentiating between terrorist organizations such as Daesh, the PKK, the PYD/YPG and the FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization], and launch a principled battle against all of them at once.
“We, at all costs, either me as a president or our government are determined on this issue. Turkey’s Jarabulus operation [in northern Syria] is an expression of that determination.”
Turkey’s campaign in northern Syria began on Aug. 24 in accordance with international law and the right of self-defense enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Less than two weeks after Operation Euphrates Shield was launched, the Turkish Army-supported Free Syrian Army fighters have liberated an area of nearly 600 square kilometers from PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists.
About the ongoing operation, he said: “We entered Jarabulus with Syrian moderate opposition and threw Daesh away. There is no Daesh in Jarabulus right now, all areas have been cleared. Now Jarabulus residents, nearly 100,000 of them, have settled down in the city.
“The operation in northern Syria is not an intervention in Syrian territorial integrity; Jarabulus is our border. From Jarabulus, unfortunately, rockets were being fired into our territory for months.
In the last incident, a wedding [inside Turkey’s Gazientep] was targeted by a 14-year-old boy wrapped in bombs, which killed 56 people and wounded nearly 100. This incident was our point of departure for sure,” he said.
About the fate of Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan said: “It seems to me that to advocate the position of killer Assad as president is disgraceful for us on behalf of humanity; as of today, as many as 600,000 people have been killed so far.”
Also on Monday, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
After the meeting, Erdogan and Hollande also held a bilateral meeting.
The 11th G20 summit, attended by leaders of the world’s 20 most industrialized countries, is being held in the coastal city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province between Sunday and Monday.