“Turkish troops must stay in Syria till security established”
Türkiye wants to keep its troops in northern Syria until maintaining stable security in the region, because early retreat of Turkish troops may lead to a conflict there which could trigger a further refugee influx to the border, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said
“The voluntary return of Syrians also needs to be controlled. The withdrawal of troops will be after these places stabilize,” Çavuşoğlu said in a televised interview.
Elaborating on the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) argument that they would withdraw the Turkish troops from Syria if they came to power, Çavuşoğlu said their pledge was not realistic, because there is a risk of terror in the region.
“There is a risk that this place becomes a terror corridor. Our withdrawal from here does not mean the regime will gain full dominance here,” the minister said.
“If we withdraw, there will be serious conflicts. In this environment of uncertainty, many immigrants could come to the Turkish border,” he said.
“The opposition’s words are risky, and the regime’s ‘Let Türkiye withdraw, let’s talk later’ approach is also not a realistic approach,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.
A meeting between the foreign ministers of Türkiye, Russia, Iran, and Syria is likely to be held on May 10 in Moscow, Çavuşoğlu also stated.
“Now, date suggestions came from the Russians. Such a meeting will probably take place on May 10. Currently, the President of Iran is going on an African tour. Therefore, it is not clear exactly who will participate from Iran. But it seems that we will hold this meeting on the 10th. It is planned in Moscow,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Türkiye closed its airspace to Armenia
Çavuşoğlu announced that Turkish airspace was closed to Armenian planes flying to third countries in response to the unveiling of a monument in Yerevan commemorating assassinations against the Turkish and Azerbaijani officials.
Çavuşoğlu said there were direct flights between Armenia and Türkiye, but that they closed Turkish airspace to Armenian planes flying to third countries. “If they continue [keeping the monumen], we will take other measures,” he added.
He said that VIP flights would not be allowed either, except for the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, who would come to Türkiye for the parliamentary assembly of the organization of the Black ea economic cooperation meeting.
“As a minister at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an institution that gave the most martyrs after the security institutions, it is not possible for me to accept this,” he said.
Noting that he did not find Armenia’s statements such as “the municipality built the monument, we have no authority” sincere and correct, Çavuşoğlu said, “Therefore, they also show that they do not have good intentions.”
The minister also said Türkiye will temporally move its embassy in Sudan to Port Sudan due to security concerns.
He stated that Türkiye evacuated 2,061 people, including 1,763 Turks and 298 others from 22 different countries.