Turkey says it will not allow PYD corridor in north Syria

Turkey's President Erdogan says he will not allow the formation of corridor in northern Syria to be used by the PYD and YPG terrorist groups

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech during a press conference prior to his visit to Ivory Coast, at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on February 28, 2016.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday that Turkey will not allow the formation of a corridor to be used by the PYD and YPG terrorist groups in northern Syria, mainly along the Turkish border.

"The formation of a corridor used by terrorist groups along our border is a danger to us. We have told our allies, especially the coalition forces,” Erdogan said in a press conference before departing to Ivory Coast from Istanbul's Atatürk airport.

In the coming days President Erdogan will be visiting west African countries including Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria in order to boost political and economic relations within the region.

Speaking about the ceasefire deal in Syria, he said the territory where the ceasefire is implemented is only one third of Syria.

"We hope that a ceasefire which is implemented in all parts of Syria will be achieved today or tomorrow and peace will come to Syria. In fact, if this could be achieved, the Geneva process would regain vitality," he added.

Turkish president criticises release of journalists

President Erdogan also criticised a court decision to release two journalists who are accused of espionage and aiding a terror organisation after publishing material in violation of state security.

"I will remain silent on the decision the court has given. But I don't need to accept it, I want to make that clear. I don't obey or respect the decision," Erdogan told reporters.

The editor-in-chief of Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, and its Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, on Friday were released pending a trial after Turkey’s highest court said that their "rights to express and spread ideas" had been violated.

"This has nothing to do with press freedom. This is a case of spying,” Erdogan said.

"As Tayyip Erdogan, I believe in defending freedom of expression until the end. But I do not believe in using freedom of expression... as a mask to attack to the country. Because this is espionage,” he added.

Dundar and Gul were arrested on Nov. 26 on charges of espionage and aiding a terror organisation.

The newspaper - where the two journalists work - published photographs and video footage that purported to show trucks belonging to the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) allegedly helping to send weapons to Syria.

In January 2014, several trucks were stopped by local gendarmes in Turkey's southern Adana and Hatay provinces, who alleged that they were carrying ammunition and weapons, although such a search is forbidden according to national security law. After the incident 26 soldiers involved in the illegal search were arrested.

At the time of the incident Turkey’s Interior Ministry stated that the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in the war-torn country.

TRTWorld and agencies