Chief of General Staff says Turkey ready for any threats to its security (exclusive)

Chief of General Staff says Turkey ready for any threats to its security (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.6

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Turkey is ready to take measures to eliminate any threat to its security, Chief of General Staff of Turkish Armed Forces Hulusi Akar exclusively told Trend Oct.6.

Currently, the activities of the "Islamic State" near Turkey's borders pose a serious threat to the country's security, according to Akar.

Moreover, taking advantage of the instability in Syria and Iraq, such terrorist organizations as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian wing - Democratic Union Party (PYD) - want to achieve their own goals, he added.

"Within the international law and as part of ensuring Syria's territorial integrity, Turkey supports the coalition forces fighting the IS," said the chief of General Staff.

For this purpose, Turkey has opened its airspace and several military bases for the coalition forces in fighting the IS, he said adding that moreover, Turkish air forces actively participate in air strikes on IS positions.

"Turkey will as always continue its decisive fight against any type of terrorism," said Akar.

He noted that for this purpose, Turkey makes efforts to form democratic and multicultural Syria.

Furthermore, he said that to date, as part of combating the foreign militants, Turkey has banned the entry of 20,000 foreigners to the country.

"Turkey deported 2,100 people arriving from 85 countries in 2011-2015 as part of fighting foreign militants," Akar added.

The chief of the General Staff further noted that Turkey's armed forces have enforced the border with Syria, which is 911 km long, in order to prevent illegal entry into that country.

He added that a military contingent of 25,000 servicemen was dispatched to the border, adding that at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Turkey made proposals regarding its fast settlement, making an emphasis on the humanitarian aspect.

Akar said that in this context, Turkey have been pursuing a policy of "open doors" to the Syrian refugees without making ethnic, religious or denominational differences among them. He added that Turkey has created all the conditions for Syrian refugees.

He also said that over this period, Turkey has conducted nine million medical examinations and 280,000 medical operations for Syrian refugees, and 66,000 Syrians have been born in Turkey.

Some 230,000 Syrian children are currently studying in Turkey, and by late this year, an additional of 460,000 Syrian children will be educated in the country, he added.

"At a time when world community has allocated $420 million for Syrian refugees, Turkey spent on them about $7 billion," said Akar.

At present, Turkey accommodates over two million Syrian refugees. The refugee camps in Turkey are a home to about 300,000 people. The rest of the refugees are scattered throughout the Turkish provinces. In Istanbul alone, there are currently 40,000 refugees from Syria.

Edited by SI

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Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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