Obama offers condolences, condemns deadly attacks in Turkey

US President Obama conveys his condolences on behalf of American people to Turkish President Erdogan as he condemned deadly attacks in southeastern Turkish villages bordering with Syria

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The White House said in a statement that President of the United States, Barack Obama had offered condolences to President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a telephone call on Wednesday

The statement said Obama condemned the terrorist attacks in the Syrian border villages of Suruc on Monday and the killings of two police officers in Ceylanpinar on Wednesday as the US president has conveyed American nation’s condolences to the families of victims during a teleconference meeting with his Turkish counterpart.

Turkish government announced on Tuesday that it has been suspecting ISIS linkage with the deadly terror attack in Suruc on Monday which left 32 people dead behind whereas dozens of wounded people are still being treated in the hospitals.

Meanwhile, two police officers were shot to dead in Ceylanpinar on early Wednesday, another terrorist attack that was claimed responsibility by the PKK terrorists who propounded their crimes for a revenge of the Monday’s bomb attack in Suruc.

Both Suruc and Ceylanpinar are villages in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa near Turkey’s long border with Syria where hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have been sheltered in the refugee camps since the conflict erupted in late 2011.

Turkey’s presidential office website also confirmed the phone call between the leaders who committed to the Turkish-American cooperation against any kind of terror in the world and the region.

Turkey and the US perceive both ISIS and the PKK as savage terrorist organisations and cooperating against them in Iraq, Syria and as well as in Turkey.

Erdogan and Obama reiterated such cooperation during the phone call and agreed to work together to "stem the flow of foreign fighters and secure Turkey's border with Syria," according to the White House announcement.

Obama expressed the US concerns on the cross-border militant flow whereas Erdogan reassured Obama on Turkey’s struggle with the ISIS militant group which has already been listed as a terror organisation since 2013.

Turkey has long been accused by the Western countries of its border management and checking problems on the porous borders with Syria where the militant outflow from Europe to Turkey, and then further into Iraq and Syria raised concerns between the parties.

Turkish Foreign Ministry several times expressed that the European allegations were unjust and denied the problems erupted due to its border management were part of a “propaganda” that aimed to classify the country as if it supports the militancy in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey blames the EU countries for not informing itself in advance and with the lack of intelligence sharing cooperation about European nationals who are suspected to join ISIS passing through its borders with Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared on Monday that security measures at Syrian border have been tightened following the explosion in Suruc.

The recent developments in Syria’s northern areas on the Turkish border raised Ankara’s concerns over both the advancement of ISIS and the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Defense Units’ (YPG) attempts at establishing a “Kurdish corridor” alongside the border.

The YPG is the  armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, which is believed to have caused the death of nearly 40,000 people in its struggle with Turkey since the early 1980s.

President Erdogan has several times reiterated that Ankara would never allow the formation of a Kurdish state along with its southern borders with Syria.

Since ISIS has increased its military pressure towards the north, Turkey has been facing with a massive migrant inflow of Syrian and Iraqi refugees from Tal Abyad, Kobani and nearby places.

The ISIS and YPG militants have been fiercely fighting over the control of both Kobani and Tal Abyad, where the local people were either forced to flee or fearfully dislocated themselves towards the Turkish soils.

In this sense, Turkey has been so far the worst affected country from the humanitarian crisis in Syria and it currently hosts almost 1.8 million Syrian refugees inside the country.  

TRTWorld and agencies