Turkey expresses deepened security concerns on Syrian border

Turkish government and military officials discuss security concerns and possible moves on Syrian border as clashes escalate between militant groups

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) meeting focused on the developments in neighboring Syria and government officials evaluated possible moves that Turkey can take for its border security on Monday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over the meeting and a statement was released following the conclusion.

The statement said “developments in Syria were comprehensively discussed, possible threats were evaluated, and possible additional security measures were stressed.”

Earlier in the day Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that a MGK meeting would discuss whether the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) should carry out a cross-border operation into northern Syria following the recent clashes along the Turkish border between ISIS and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported on Sunday that Ankara is planning to establish a buffer zone along the 110 km  long Turkish border from Karkamis (Jarablus) to Oncupinar [closer to Azez] crossing at a depth of 28 km to 33 km and gave a directive to the TSK to take necessary measures.  

US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner, however, said that they saw no “solid evidence” that Turkey is preparing for a buffer zone in Syria.

The MGK statement also articulated  “concerns about terror attacks targeting civilians in the region [northern Syria] and actions aimed at changing the demographic composition of the region.”

Ankara has repeatedly warned the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on its movements concerning “demographic change” and “ethnic cleansing” in northern Syria.  

Turkish government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc recently said, “We keep saying that in northern Syria, no formations which threaten Turkey should be allowed. But recent developments began indicating an emergency situation for Turkey,” following a cabinet meeting in which the “cantons” was discussed on June 15.

TRTWorld and agencies