Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that he expects a safe zone in Syria will be set up within a few months.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking at a public meeting in Erzurum on January 25, 2019.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking at a public meeting in Erzurum on January 25, 2019. (AA)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that a 1998 agreement with Syria gives Turkey the right to enter Syrian territory when it faces threats.

"This [Adana Agreement] opens the way for Turkey to enter those territories if any adverse events were to take place," Erdogan told a rally introducing mayoral candidates of governing Justice and Development (AK) Party for the eastern Erzurum province.

The Adana Agreement was signed in October 1998 following an ultimatum by Turkey to Syria in which Ankara said Damascus must stop its support of the PKK terror organisation.

In the fall of 1998, Syria kicked out Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK, from the country and shut down PKK terror camps.

Erdogan said Ankara expects a “safe zone” to be set up in Syria along the Turkish border within a few months, otherwise, it will establish the zone alone, President Erdogan said on Friday.

Erdogan previously said he and US President Donald Trump had discussed Turkey setting up a 20-mile-deep safe zone in Syria along the border, after Trump’s decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria. 

Turkish President Erdogan said the zone should be “aimed at protecting our country from terrorists, not protect terrorists right beside our border” and should be established within a few months. 

“Otherwise, we will definitely form this safe or buffer zone ourselves. Our only expectation from our allies is that they provide logistical support to Turkey’s effort,” he added.

The area along the border is controlled by the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the PKK, regarded by the US, EU and Turkey as a terrorist organisation.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies