Turkey’s nationalists push for buffer zone in Syrian border

Leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli says corridor established by Kurdish militia close to Turkey’s Syrian border threatens Turkey’s national security and a buffer zone should be established

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has said the “so-called corridor” formed by the Kurdish militia by the Syrian border should be seen as a “chemical bomb” thrown at Turkey, while saying that Turkey should use its legal rights to set up a buffer zone to guard against the risks that threaten its territorial integrity.

Speaking to Etikhaber news recently, Bahceli called on the government not to delay any action to rectify this “national issue” and protect against the risks posed by an “uncontrolled refugee flow and relocation pursued with the cooperation of the US and the outlawed PKK.”

Bahceli warns that the issue is more important than the formation of a coalition as it concerns the vital and historic interests of Turkey.

“Turkey’s national security situation is alarming. The Democratic Union Party [PYD] has gained control of Tel-Abyad. As US-led forces continue strikes from air, the PYD and PKK are progressing through the land,” Bahceli said.

Turkey considers the PYD to be the Syrian affiliate of Turkey’s outlawed PKK. Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK and the conflict has claimed the lives of over 40,000 people over three decades.

In addition, Bahceli said the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have pushed Turkmens out of their homes and seized Turkmen villages while conducting “ethnic cleansing.”

“Our Turkmen brothers are in misery and protecting them is a matter of honor for us,” Bahceli said.

The YPG is the armed unit of the PYD.

On Thursday the PYD blocked the border with Syria and stopped taking back refugees who had fled to Turkey into Syria, drawing a reaction from the refugees who wanted to return to their homes.

In its first post-election cabinet meeting on June 16, the Turkish government discussed the threat presented by the Kurdish “cantons” declared by the PYD and pledged to take military measures in order to ensure Turkey’s border security.

According to presidential sources, a meeting concerning Syria was held by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday night attended by Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Interior Sebahattin Ozturk, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) President Fuat Oktay and other officials.

During the meeting, the officials provided Erdogan with information regarding the recent developments in Syria and the situation of the refugees who fled to Turkey.

On his return from an official visit to Azerbaijan on June 14, Erdogan’s comments underlined that YPG and PKK forces are being stationed in Tel-Abyad.

“The atmosphere in Tel Abyad indicates the Arabs and Turkmens there are being targeted. Around 15,000 Arabs and Turkmens have crossed into Turkey as their places are filled in with PYD and PKK,” Erdogan said.

The president added the situation is not good for Turkey and said Turkey would not allow any organisation which threatens Turkey near its border.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also spoke regarding the issue during a television interview Wednesday night, underlining that he has given an order to carry out “whatever needs to be done” to ensure Turkey’s border security.

Davutoglu said the refugee waves are aimed at “changing the demography in the region and redesigning the map of the Middle East,” while asking Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party leader Selahattin Demirtas to respond to question “Which crimes did YPG commit while cooperating with Assad regime for three years?” 

TRTWorld and agencies