Feb 28 2018

Turkey report contradicts Macron’s Syria ceasefire statement

Turkish statements have for the second time contradicted the statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s international interlocutors in high-level phone conversations after a discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

The conversation came a day after Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the United Nations call for a full 30-day ceasefire in Syria ceasefire would not have "any effect on the operation that Turkey is pursuing" in the northwest Syrian region of Afrin, where Turkey is conducting a military operation.

Macron’s office said in a statement after the phone conversation that the French prime minister had conveyed to his Turkish counterpart that the ceasefire should be “fully respected” by all actors, including Turkey.

However, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency printed a report based on sources at the Turkish presidency, saying that the two presidents had a “consensus” on the ceasefire, without any mention of Macron’s demand that Turkey also respect it.

The U.S. and Turkish governments made diverging statements after a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Erdoğan’s phone call in late January, with the Turkish side disputing that Trump had expressed concerns about the operation in Afrin or anti-U.S. rhetoric from Turkey.