Erdogan: Turkey left alone in anti-terror fight

Türkiye Materials 1 April 2016 03:58 (UTC +04:00)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Western countries of leaving Turkey alone in the fight against terror, Anadolu reported.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in Washington, which aired Thursday night, Erdogan added that those countries had not met Ankara's expectations for intelligence-sharing.

"We were left alone by Western countries. Our intelligence-sharing expectations were never met," Erdogan said.

Turkey "has been calling for a common stance against terrorism, and many of the EU member states seem to have failed to realize the significance that this call for action deserves," he said.

Turkey has also previously called on other countries to share information on all terror organizations, including Daesh and the PKK .

The Turkish president was also asked about Ibrahim el Bakraoui, one of three suicide bombers who carried out the Brussels attacks on March 22, which killed 32 people.

A day after the blasts, Ankara revealed that he had been deported from Turkey last June after being arrested near the Syrian border.

Erdogan said that el Bakraoui was accused of being affiliated with Daesh and was deported to the Netherlands. "The decision to deport was communicated to the Netherlands and Belgium," he said.

He added that Brussels was granted additional information per its request. But, "Belgium unfortunately attached no significance to this piece of information and these incidents happened."

"We have French fighters in Daesh, we have German fighters in Daesh, we have Australian fighters in Daesh, and 22 countries out of the 90 countries feeding fighters into Daesh are EU member states," said Erdogan, explaining why Turkey needed a strong alliance with EU member states.

- Syria's territorial integrity

Erdogan also said Turkey, the U.S. and other international allies "had to work together and jointly for the protection of the territorial integrity of Syria and for the establishment of a long-lasting peace."

"I'm not in the position to allow the handing over of some parts of Syria to some terrorist organization. I would always be reminded about such a mistake should that mistake ever be made," he said.

Asked which terror organization he was referring to, Erdogan replied: "YPG, PYD... and if Daesh has an intention of that sort they will never be allowed."

The PYD, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK organization, two weeks ago declared the creation of a federation in the areas it controls in northern Syria.

The move was strongly opposed by the Syrian regime and opposition, the U.S. and Turkey.

Erdogan said that Turkey does not discriminate between a "good" and an "evil" terrorist organization. "A terrorist organization is evil and none of them should be allowed," he said.

- Islamophobia

Erdogan also addressed the issue of Islamophobia. He said he was one of the "first political leaders officially declaring that anti-Semitism is a crime" and that he awaited the same for Islamophobia.

"I expect an official declaration that Islamophobia is a crime against humanity as well," he said. "Islamophobia emerged from the Western countries and this is a challenge that we altogether have to surmount."