Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his US counterpart, Donald Trump, has shown a firm stance during this phase on the safe area in northern Syria.
“But of course every leader around him is constantly being told by some people, and that’s what happens with Trump.
At this point, the United States has an institutional system that we can call the deep state”.
This came during his hosting in an interview on the Turkish channels 24TV and TV 360, on Wednesday, during which he talked about a number of topics locally and abroad.
Erdogan said he initiated the proposal to establish a safe zone in northern Syria on the United States under former US President Barack Obama.
“We’ve asked for a safe zone in the north of Syria with the United States, to stay with the refugees we have, but they have not taken any action on their part to implement them”, he said.
Erdogan reiterated Ankara’s refusal to give control of the safe area to anyone other than Turkey, “because at any moment we can attack from there”.
He stressed his country’s refusal to “give control of this region to the organizations (YPK) and (PYD)”, pointing out that Turkey can with the Free Syrian Army to take over this region.
He noted that the organization “PKK / YPK” controls an area of 50 thousand square kilometers, and that this area is equivalent to 27 percent of the area of Syria, as well as control of 60 percent of the total agricultural land in the country.
Erdogan stressed in that context that his country “requires the termination of the United States relationship with the terrorist organization (YPK), and then can cooperate on the safe area, and if it doesn’t happen, the crisis will continue”.
On the US withdrawal from Syria, the Turkish president explained that the Americans “can take their weapons with them if they wish, or sell them to us, but they should not give them to the terrorists”.
The Turkish president expressed his dismay at the US’s occasional statement that it has the serial numbers of weapons in place with the terrorists.
“Who’ll these weapons be delivered to, or will they (the Americans) take and withdraw from Syria?”.
“We’ve lived the same thing in Iraq, and nothing like that has been done (in reference to the handover of weapons), so that the same thing is not repeated in Syria.
We gave these weapons to us to use to secure the region”.
“If they take these weapons, they are their property, but if you do not take them, give them to us, and we can sit and pay for what benefits us better than giving weapons to the terrorists for free”.
He pointed out that his country “closely follows the process of the US withdrawal from Syria, and hasn’t yet been taken any steps in this regard.
We believe that this withdrawal decision will have positive implications for the security of Syria and the region as a whole”.
He stressed that “the unity of Syrian territory is one of the topics that Turkey attaches great importance from the beginning, and we talked a lot about the need for Russia and the United States, Iran and coalition forces what is required in this regard”.
As for the Russian S-400 missile defense system, the Turkish president said, “We’ve done all the cost calculations related to this deal, and we know all the system capabilities we need in our defense systems”.
Erdogan stressed that Turkey can never back down from this deal, noting that his country agreed with Russia in this regard.
He considered that “the retreat from this deal after this stage is immoral is not appropriate for us, we agreed and we must abide by what we agreed to the end”.
“We’ll take all necessary steps to complete the deal so that we can do well in the face of terrorism, otherwise we will not achieve what we want from this confrontation”, he said.
“We’ll start joint production, and we can enter the subject of the S-500, after the S-400”.
Erdogan expressed his dissatisfaction with the US position that refuses to complete the purchase of the Russian system, pointing out that his country, along with this system is in 4 years a deal with the US company Pyong to modernize the fleet of Turkish Airlines, worth more than 10 billion dollars.
He pointed out that the same countries rejecting the purchase of Turkey to the Russian system doesn’t take the same positions from Greece, Bulgaria and other NATO member countries that have Russian missile defense systems.
He explained that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in the context of his previous comments on the purchase of Turkey to the system, stressed that “the development of military capabilities, is a national decision of the States, and can not intervene in this”.
As for Washington’s decision to remove Turkey from the system of generalized preferences, Erdogan said that “Turkey is taking all its measures in this regard, and we’re accustomed to such positions”.
Asked whether the US move was an economic campaign against Turkey or was due to Ankara’s insistence on buying the Russian S-400, Erdogan said he didn’t see what was “right and friendly”.
“This step calls for reflection, especially since it came after a visit to the Trump smelter to Turkey, where we discussed the economic relations between the two countries, so I don’t see this as right”.
He pointed out that “these things have unfortunately become commonplace in Turkish-American relations during recent times”.
The Turkish president also stressed his country’s determination to confront all terrorist organizations at home and abroad.
“We’ll continue to confront all terrorist organizations until the smallest terrorist threat is eliminated, and even the region is cleared of all components of the PKK organization”, Erdogan said.
The Turkish president pointed out that there is a significant increase in the numbers of the said organization who surrendered to the Turkish authorities, stressing that the rates of accession to the terrorist organization at the lowest levels for the time being.
“We’re ready to carry out all the necessary operations to eliminate the threat of terrorism from its source, that is, if this danger coming from Syria, we’ll spend there, although from Iraq so”.
“We’ve already spoken with our Iraqi brothers in this regard, and we told them to break the terrorists, or we’ll take over”.
In the same context, the Turkish president stressed that the United States is trying to promote a false image that Turkey fight against the terrorist organization “PKK / YPK / PYD”, killing the Kurds, stressing that he had previously informed the American officials, led by Trump that this “Incorrect understanding”.
“I reminded them that in this war we aren’t targeting our Kurdish brothers, but rather our war with a terrorist organization that may be Kurdish, French, German or other nationalities”, he said.
“At one point we asked the United States to come together to fight these terrorist organizations, but no one listened to us because they had decided to cooperate with these organizations”.
In a context not far removed, the Turkish president noted that “peace and freedom and democracy are all common in the Syrian-controlled areas of Syria, from Jarablus, to Azaz, and from Afrin to Idlib”.
Erdogan pointed out that about 311 thousand Syrians returned to those areas after being cleared by the Turkish army of terrorists.
In the same context, Erdogan referred to the Turkish-Syrian cooperation in Afrin and Idlib, and its positive results, which were reflected in the fight against terrorist organizations.
The Turkish president stressed that they inflicted a painful blow on the terrorist corridor that terrorist organizations were seeking to establish on the southern border of Turkey.
Erdogan also stressed their determination to confront the terrorist organization “Fathallah Gulen”, praising the countries that were keen to hand over Turkey elements of the organization fleeing abroad, and wanted to justice in Turkey.
For his part, a Russian official said that Washington’s attempts to block Turkey’s acquisition of Russian missile defense system “S400”, indicates the weakness of the position of the United States of America in the arms market.
In a statement to the Russian news agency “RIA Novosti”, on Wednesday, the head of arms control in the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Jeremakov, the implementation of the “S400” with Turkey, according to the agreed timetable.
He added that the agreement is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2019, saying “we recognize the pressure that Washington is trying to practice on Ankara to sabotage the agreement”.
“What the United States is doing is trying to damage its competitors in the global arms trade politically”, he said, referring to its weakness in its inability to provide a better price and quality in the global arms market.
On Tuesday, the US State Department threatened Turkey with various sanctions if it went ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The head of the European Command of the US Army, Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), General Kurtis Scaparotti, stressed that Turkey should not give F35s to Turkey if they proceed to buy the Russian system.
Turkey signed the end of 2017, an agreement with Russia in Ankara to buy missile defense system “S-400”, where Turkey became the second country to buy the system from Russia.