President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a press conference yesterday (September 1) in Esenboğa Airport ahead of his departure to China to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
In the press conference, Erdoğan held a statement on the Jarablus operation and the role of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian war.
Asked about criticisms of the decision to hold the opening ceremony of the court year in the Presidential Palace in Beştepe, he said: “The President is the head of legislature, executive and judiciary in this country. He or she is the head of the state”.
Commenting on the resignation of the Minister of Interior, Efkan Ala; Erdoğan noted: “Such changes may occur within a government from time to time.”
“In Hangzhou, we will discuss global peace, security, stability and thus also the fight against the terrorism that has been threatening the economy. That way, we will also express our expectations from the relevant parties with regards to issues such as the terrorist organizations FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization), DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front), PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), PYD (Democratic Union Party), YPG and Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which our country has been fighting against”.
Erdoğan added: “No one can expect us to tolerate the creation of a terror corridor on our southern border”.
“We receive the recent statements of certain circles in the West with astonishment. Some are obviously disturbed by Daesh being defeated in Jarablus. That is hard to understand.
Pointing out the rockets hitting Kilis in Turkey, Erdoğan added: “It is not possible for us to respond to this with patience. Besides, we are not entering Jarablus [...] we are only providing logistic support.”
Negotiations with the US, YPG
With regards to Manbij, which Erdoğan has characterized as “one of the most important strategic points”, he stated that US President Barack Obama had guaranteed that the YPG would under no circumstances not enter Manbij, and added:
“With regards to Manbij, they now tell us that they [YPG] have withdrawn to the East of Euphrates. We say, ‘No, they have not’. The confirmation that they have passed to the East of Euphrates depends on our assessment”.
Efkan Ala's resignation
Turning to the resignation of Minister of Interior Efkan Ala, President Erdoğan said: "Such changes may occur in a government from time to time." He added that Ala had done nothing wrong and that the resignation process had gone smoothly. (AS/DG)
* Photograph: Raşit Aydoğan - Ankara / Anadolu Agency (AA)