Turkey's National Security Council warned that the biggest threat to political solution in Syria is the terrorist presence east of the Euphrates River.

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) chairs a meeting of National Security Council (MGK) at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on November 27, 2018.
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) chairs a meeting of National Security Council (MGK) at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on November 27, 2018. (Turkish Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Handout / AA)

Turkey will not allow a fait accompli in Syria and will use its right to self-defence, Turkey’s national security establishment warned on Tuesday.

In a statement after a meeting in the capital Ankara, the National Security Council said that Turkey has always supported Syria's territorial integrity and political unity and stressed that the biggest threat to a political solution in Syria is the terrorist presence east of the Euphrates River.

The statement also "strongly emphasised" that Turkey would not be indifferent to the terrorist PKK/PYD-YPG changing the demographic makeup in areas bordering Turkey through persecution and forced migration.

It also stressed that Turkey will continue its determined fight against terrorism to protect its people from threats arising from terror groups along its borders with Syria and Iraq.

The statement added that "some countries” failing to list terrorist groups such as the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) and the PKK/KCK's Syrian branch the PYD/YPG as terror groups hurt counter-terrorism efforts.

Turkey has long objected to US support for the terrorist PYD/PYG, and has faulted both the US and Europe for failing to do enough to fight FETO, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

During last month’s quadrilateral summit on Syria in Istanbul, the council stressed that the issues agreed on at the summit would contribute to peace in Syria and the region, as well as provide a permanent cease-fire by demilitarisation in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The summit held in late October was attended by the leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany, who expressed their determination to end the bloodshed in war-torn Syria.

“To find a lasting solution in Syria, a constitutional committee, working under United Nations observation, should be established as soon as possible,” the declaration stressed.

Iraq and Cyprus

The National Security Council affirmed that Turkey would continue cooperation with the new Iraqi government in all areas, particularly security issues.

The council also underlined that the Turkish Armed Forces would continue counter-terrorism operations against the terrorist PKK/KCK in Iraq.

The council “reaffirmed that no development contrary to the rights and interests of Turkey or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would be allowed.”

It also warned that unilateral moves in the region would not contribute to world peace, and urged consideration of Turkey’s determination based on international law.

In early 2018, the Greek Cypriot administration unilaterally launched exploratory drilling activities for gas in the eastern Mediterranean despite strong opposition from Turkish Cypriots, who argue that the island's natural resources should be exploited jointly to ensure equal rights for both parties.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Source: AA