Syria, Iraq airstrikes are 'temporary' solution: Erdogan

Türkiye Materials 29 September 2014 09:01 (UTC +04:00)
Syria, Iraq airstrikes are 'temporary' solution: Erdogan
Syria, Iraq airstrikes are 'temporary' solution: Erdogan

Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq by a U.S.-led international coalition will not permanently end terrorism, and the international community should be more active in establishing democracy in these countries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Anadolu Agency reported

In a wide-ranging speech at the World Economic Forum in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan said: "The aerial bombardments only provide a temporary solution."

Regarding Turkey's contribution to the international coalition in its fight against extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants, Erdogan stated that: "Turkey will take its place where it ought to be."

A U.S.-led coalition started aerial bombardments to counter ISIL in Iraq last month, and more recently in Syria.

ISIL has captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, declaring what it calls a cross-border Islamic 'caliphate,' killing thousands and displacing millions across the two countries.

It has posted graphic online videos of mass executions, as well as the beheadings of Western hostages.

Stating that the international community should track the weapons it supplies to Iraq and Syria, Erdogan asked: "Germany is sending weapons to the peshmerga [northern Iraqi Kurdish troops], but to whom it is sending [these]?

"How can we know that these weapons will not be captured by ISIL, or al-Qaeda?"

Criticizing the U.K.'s decision to join the U.S.-led strikes on ISIL targets inside Iraq, Erdogan said: "The U.K. decided to take action only in Iraq. 'Only in Syria', or 'only in Iraq' -- this is not viable. We should realize a common orientation towards both."

The U.K. has been supplying arms to Iraqi Kurds and conducting aerial surveillance operations. On Friday, British lawmakers approved a motion which would see the country join in the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes in Iraq against ISIL.

Claiming that international terrorism has been boosted by inaction towards the Syrian regime, Erdogan said: "Establishing a representative parliamentary system is something that should not be further delayed in Syria. And reforms to have an all-embracing government in Iraq should be urgently realized."

"ISIL was born in Iraq and passed into Syria during the crisis. It strengthened itself in Syria and then again returned to Iraq. Now it controls some one-third of Iraq," Erdogan said, referring to the late response of the international community to the almost four-year humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Erdogan repeated that Turkey pays great importance to the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria and building up safe zones on the Syrian side of the border as a humanitarian response.

Turkey has requested a Syria no-fly zone from the United Nations since 2012, but the international community has yet to support this call.

More than 150,000 Syrian Kurds passed into Turkish territory since ISIL attacks on the Kurdish town of Kobani last week. Turkey already is home to some 1.3 million Syrian refugees.

Erdogan also criticized the international community for their "indifference" towards the Syrian refugee flows in neighboring countries.

"Including the aid from the U.N. refugee agency, we got some $150 million up to now from the international community. On the other hand, the number we paid alone for Syrian refugees has reached $4.5 billion," Erdogan said.

Erdogan also strongly criticized the structure of the U.N. given the strong decision-making capabilities of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

"The world is bigger than five. The fate of a country should not be in the hands of either the U.S., France, Russia, China or the U.K.," Erdogan said.

Russia, the staunchest ally of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and China, have several times used their veto power against draft proposals that sought military sanctions on the Damascus government if it continued to commit violence.

"A rotating system which would allow 193 member countries to be represented at the Council should be formed. There should be no permanent membership notion; every country should have the chance to be represented," Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader also rounded on Western attitudes towards the Egyptian coup, which ousted the first democratically elected Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, last year.

Erdogan has just returned from a UN General Assembly Summit in New York, holding bilateral talks with several governments and state leaders.

He also held a phone conversation with the U.S. President Barack Obama and a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden while in New York.

Evaluating Turkey's successful economic performance Erdogan said: "The domestic political stability in the country was what allowed the economic leap forwards and long-term successes."

"The political stability achieved in the last 12 years prepared the ground for successful structural reforms and the old sources of instability have been no longer a problem," he said.

Turkey's new 'Discover the potential' slogan and logo was unveiled

Erdogan said: "From now on, Turkey and Turkish products will better be introduced with the logo and slogan 'Discover the potential'... These are all symbols of a new Turkey, a new strong Turkey having global aims. These are the symbols of Turkey's self-confidence."

The new logo will replace the 'Made in Turkey' mark.

Turkish exports reached $152 billion by the end of last year, up from $47 billion in 2003, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly.

Major markets include Germany, Iraq, the U.K., Russia and Italy.

Turkey is the 16th largest economy in the world, according to last year's GDP figures.