Turkey spoil terrorists ‘game’: FM Çavuşoğlu
Turkey has disrupted the intentions of terrorists who wanted to establish a terror state in northern Syria, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday.
"We have spoiled the great game. We have toppled down the game of not only the terrorists but also other actors who wanted to establish a terror state there," Çavuşoğlu said in an event in Antalya.
Çavuşoğlu said there are 350,000 Kurds in Turkey and 300,000 in northern Iraq.
He refuted claims that the YPG/PKK terror group is the voice of Kurds and said nearly 650,000 Kurdish people did not return to the area which is controlled by the YPG.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation for 120-hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a "historic" meeting in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before the pause was set to expire.
Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (129 miles) south of Turkey's border with northern Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would start to conduct joint patrols in the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.