Turkey’s National Security Council stresses its resolve to create a safe zone

The July National Security Council (MGK) meeting was held on Tuesday in Turkish capital Ankara and the MGK has confirmed its resolve to establish a “peace corridor” in Syrian territory t"o ensure border security against increased threats", and to “clear the region from all terrorist elements”, according to the press release. 

A press release after the meeting said Turkey continues its “determined fight against PKK/PYD-YPG, ISIS, FETÖ and all terrorist organisations within the country and abroad”.

According to the statement, operations Claw and Claw 2 against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will continue in Northern Iraq.

The MGK condemned the attack in Erbil where a Turkish diplomat was killed and said the investigation on the matter will be closely monitored.

Without citing any countries, the MGK said “certain countries” continuing their alliance with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (PYD), which Turkey considers an extension of the PKK, and offering military and political support is unacceptable. The council also claimed that the People’s Protection Units (YPG) conscripts children and forces them to partake in terrorist attacks. 

The United States and partnering Global Forces against the ISIS, have been supporting the YPG and SDF forces since 2015.

The council said the Interpol cancelling red notices against PYD and YPG officials and refusing to issue new ones for alleged supporters of Fethullah Gülen harms the international police organisation’s founding purpose. Turkey blames the U.S.-based Turkish preacher for masterminding a failed military coup in 2016.

The MGK said Turkey’s determined stance in the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus is of vital importance.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar held a phone call with his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper on Monday and according to the Turkish statement told him that Ankara would not allow for the formation of a “terror corridor” to its south, amid a period of heated rhetoric related to U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militias.

Turkish Defense Ministry's language of the readout appeared harsher on Monday, which it said "unless Ankara is able to reach an agreement with Washington, Turkey will be forced to create the safe zone on its own."