DEPARTMENT OF MINUTE SERVICES



Term: 27 Legislative Year: 5 Date: 26.10.2021

Session: 11 Draft Minute Page:-



Speaker: AHMET ÜNAL ÇEVİKÖZ Constituency: Istanbul

Text of the Minute:

AHMET ÜNAL ÇEVİKÖZ (Istanbul) ON BEHALF OF THE CHP GROUP – Mr Speaker, distinguished members of parliament; I have taken the floor on behalf of the Republican People’s Party to speak on the motion submitted to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on extending the presence of the Turkish Armed Forces in Iraq and Syria for two years. Firstly, I respectfully greet this august assembly and its esteemed members.

Distinguished members, there has been a civil war in Syria since March 2011. Two countries have felt the destructive force of this war the most. One of them is Syria, which is where the civil war is taking place, and the other is Turkey, which is a party to this civil war. While the civil war has ravaged Syria, displaced more than half of the country’s population, and forced millions of Syrians to flee abroad, it has also gradually dragged Turkey in, causing it to suffer from the destruction it has created.

What is the misstep taken as regards Syria? The mistake made is a foreign policy shift that had never before been espoused in the history of the Republic of Turkey: a policy aimed at regime change in Syria, our southern neighbour with which we share a land border of 911 kilometres. This policy was not only a violation of Turkey’s principle of non-interventionism in the internal affairs of its neighbours, but also contradicted Turkey’s previous non-partisan attitude in the region, one of seeking a balanced and peaceful solution to the problems and prioritizing diplomacy. Acting as the protector, backer, and military partner of the opposition elements that revolted against the Damascus administration in Syria, the government, with this policy, caused our country to be perceived as a country interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours in the eyes of the countries in the region. But this is not the real problem, distinguished MPs. The real problem is that the government has made Turkey one of the main victims of the devastating war in Syria, as a result of the wrong policies it has consistently followed despite all warnings since 2011. The government, which shut down the diplomatic communication channels with the Damascus administration, destroyed its own room for manoeuvre and became a prisoner to the obsessions, wrong decisions, and chain of miscalculations that it has embraced in a sectarian mentality. Unfortunately, this situation has caused us to wait for news from Syria with our hearts in our mouths. Three military operations have been carried out on Syrian territory, and we lost 278 of our soldiers in these operations alone. May their souls rest in peace; their place is in heaven. All of them still have a place in our hearts and their memories are fresh in our minds. On this occasion, we once again express our condolences to all the families of the fallen soldiers and share their pain in our hearts.

Distinguished MPs, I would like to share with you some of the remarkable issues regarding the motion in question. While the first motion about the deployment of our troops in Syria came before the parliament in 2012 in accordance with article 92 of the Constitution, this has been followed, since 2014, by a series of motions asking the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to approve military deployment to Syria and Iraq together. It appears that the lump-everything-together mindset of the government, as manifested in the omnibus bills it has brought forward, also crops up in its omnibus military deployment motions.

An explanation offered is that such a method is used because the terrorist organization, which continues its activities under the name of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, has been involved in terrorist acts both in Iraq and Syria. However, on the one hand, you argue that the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of our two separate neighbours, Iraq and Syria, should be respected individually, on the other hand, by putting these two countries in the same basket, you are already tacitly accepting the violation of their independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Another oddity is the duration of this motion. Mandate is requested from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for a period of two years. Why two years, distinguished MPs? Does this mean that, let alone snap elections, even the normal elections, scheduled for June 2023, will not be held in Turkey? If the duration of this motion is extended until 30 October 2023, this means a usurpation of the will of the people, the legislative and executive that will come into power in the next elections, and the established rights and laws in place. This nation knows to say “no” to such extortions when the time comes, and we have seen examples of this before. Earlier, at the beginning of this year, we saw that the Libya and Afghanistan motions were brought before us for a validity period of eighteen months. It seems that as the elections draw nearer, the government extends the duration of the motions. What are you afraid of? There is no one left who does not see, know, or hear that you are moving away from power. Are you trying to prolong your life by extending the duration of the motions? Cowards die many times before their deaths. What is coming is coming and the outgoing is on their way out (applause from CHP seats). Extending the periods of military deployments abroad will not change this fate. That, you should know.

We talked about this time issue when the Libya motion was brought before us, too. When you brought the Libya motion for a period of eighteen months, we stated that this eighteen-month period went beyond the Libyan elections that will take place on 24 December 2021.  Is there any guarantee that the new government that will be formed in Libya after these elections will be willing to have our troops in Libya? But you did not listen. Now, everyone, including the members of the interim government in Libya, the parliament officials in Tobruk, the interim Presidential Council and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, are expressing their opposition to the presence of Turkish troops in Libya and want our soldiers to withdraw. But I have to say this: A government that does not respect its own country’s legal election processes, legislative and executive powers could not be expected to respect the legislative, the executive, and the popular will of other countries. It seems that it will be our duty to tell the Libyan people how wrong this is and to reconcile the Libyan people with the Turkish people.

And is the situation any different with respect to Afghanistan? You submitted to the parliament a motion regarding Afghanistan, again for eighteen months. We said at the time that there was a troublesome process in Afghanistan. The Taliban once again became a serious threat to Afghanistan. We stated that it seemed difficult for the Afghan government to hold on against the increasingly powerful Taliban and we needed to be careful. What happened? All that we told you became reality. Although you wanted Turkish Armed Forces presence in Afghanistan for eighteen months, you hastily withdrew our troops in six months, long before the Taliban reached Kabul. We told you that our troops were in danger and while you were trying to take over the security of the Kabul Airport. We told you to get our soldiers from this hell. We persistently raised this issue for weeks, but you continued to endanger our soldiers until it became clear that American soldiers would no longer stay in Afghanistan. Thankfully, our soldiers left Afghanistan without a single one of them coming to harm. However, you are none the wiser and are now courting the Taliban government.


Distinguished MPs, believe me, we are facing a much more dire situation in Syria than the issues I have mentioned regarding Libya and Afghanistan. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who visited Moscow on 14 September, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting, after which they announced that all foreign troops in Syria should withdraw. This message was, of course, directed at the United States and Turkey, but no one took it seriously. On the contrary, Mr Erdoğan told the United States to withdraw its troops from Syria as soon as he returned to the country without being able to meet with Biden in New York. The United States will probably start discussing withdrawal from Syria soon, because the era of reaping profits in domestic politics by putting soldiers on the territory of other countries in the world has come to an end. As in the case of Afghanistan, it is time for Turkey to abandon this policy. Operations have been carried out in Syria since 2016. What is the result? Absolutely nothing. You moved the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, our only exclave, out of Syria in 2015 and you have not been able to take that land back since then. Although you started the withdrawal from Syria six years ago, now you are talking about a new operation in Syria as if this had never happened. What is the aim? Is it to move the Tomb of Suleyman Shah back to where it was? Do not worry; we will make it happen when the time comes.
 

It is said that a military operation will be carried out in the Tell Rifaat region. I wonder whether you have considered the cost, drawbacks, and feasibility of such an operation in terms of military tactics and strategy? Today, even your fanatics in Turkey know that carrying out such an operation on the ground amounts almost to suicide; the terrain is flat, there are no hills, and most importantly, you don’t have air support. Russia has closed the airspace. In other words, if Turkish soldiers attempt such an operation, they will be hunted like birds. I wonder if this is the reason why some of our generals have been resigning and asking for retirement lately. It is clear that such an operation is not based on any military intelligence. Even if you applied artificial intelligence, you would foresee the consequences of the operation with a few simulations, but it seems that neither military intelligence nor artificial intelligence is used. They are probably just saying, “Let’s try it, maybe it works”. This can only be called guinea pig intelligence.


We have been saying what kind of danger we are facing in Syria since the meeting on the Astana process summit held in Sochi in 2018. The main problem in Syria today is that the jihadist elements in the Idlib region carry on with their actions relying on the presence of the Turkish Armed Forces and continue to hold on there. The government, which is obliged to transfer the control of the M4 and M5 motorways to the Syrian administration, continues to lose soldiers in Syria because it cannot fulfil this. It is this obstinate insistence that is not based on any strategy that is responsible for the sudden loss of 33 of our soldiers on the night of 27 February, 2020. Today, Russia and Syria are preparing to carry out the necessary operation themselves to clear the periphery of the M4 and M5 motorways from radical and terrorist elements, which Turkey has been making up excuses not to fulfil since 2018. Everyone is waiting with their sleeves rolled up. No one believes that a new wave of immigration towards Turkey will not begin if such an operation is conducted.

The government has turned Turkey into a hostage in Syria. On one side, a drifting policy which does not know where to act together with the US as well as a policy of running to Putin, not knowing what to do in Idlib, and on the other side, terrorist groups protected in Syria while trying to look cute. Do you know who is around the observation posts where our Armed Forces are located in Idlib? Terrorist elements and terrorist groups. They think that the closer they are to our Armed Forces, the safer they are. With the air support of Russia, the Syrian army is also constantly blasting them. In some cases, we are faced with bombs falling right next to our observation posts.

On the other hand, there are also terrorist groups working to bring Turkey into line and daring to intimidate Turkey; for example, the Ansar Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Squadron. Do you know how intensified this group’s attacks against our soldiers have been in the last nine months? 

Let me tell you:          

  • Heavy armed attack on Turkish Armed Forces elements in the village Ram Handan in the northern countryside of Idlib on 7 December 2020. 

–         Attack on our convoy near the village of Kafraya in the north of Idlib on 4 January 2021. 

–         Sniper attack on Turkish Armed Forces elements in the north of Idlib on 16 January 2021. 

–         Sniper attack on the military base used by the Turkish Armed Forces as a headquarters in the town of Binnish in the eastern countryside of Idlib on 25 January 2021. 

–         Attack on a convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Maarrat Misrin region in the northern countryside of Idlib on 24 February 2021. 

–         An IED attack on a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces near the city centre of Idlib on 13 March 2021.

–         An attack on a vehicle belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces at the entrance of the Idlib city centre industrial zone, with an IED that was previously placed on the road on 15 March 2021. 

–         The explosion of an IED that was placed previously on the road as a Turkish Armed Forces armoured vehicle was going by in front of a Turkish Armed Forces base in the southern countryside of Idlib on 23 March 2021. 

–         An IED attack on a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Jabal al-Zawiya region in the south of Idlib. 

–         An IED attack on the Turkish Armed Forces convoy in the Kornish region in the east of Idlib. 

–         Again, an IED attack on armoured vehicles of the Turkish Armed Forces near the village of Mastume in the southern countryside of Idlib. 

–         An IED attack on the Turkish Armed Forces advancing on the Idlib-Kafarya road in the north of Idlib on 10 September 2021. 

Let alone naming the elements that perpetrated the attacks, our Ministry of Defence cannot even give the exact number of our fallen soldiers. There is no mention in this motion that such organizations will be combatted. Likewise, there is only one sentence about Idlib, where 33 of our soldiers were martyred and which turned into a veritable swamp for us, in this motion, despite asking for a two-year mandate. The motion states: “The risks and threats targeting our activities to establish stability and security in Idlib within the framework of the Astana process continue.” Do you think this statement is sufficient to describe the dangers towards our country from Idlib? There is no statement in the motion regarding Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which is on the list of terrorist organizations of our country and is the most crowded terrorist organization in Idlib. We do not think that this motion is a text prepared with the real dangers in mind in Idlib, let alone in Syria.

In no way can we ignore that an operation to be launched by Syria with the support of Russia will have very serious consequences for our country. In such a situation, the security of our soldiers and borders should be our primary goal. Now is the time to stop the civil war that this country is in, to establish peace and to work for peace to eliminate the damage that the situation in Syria has done and will cause to Turkey. We want to construct Turkey’s Syria policy in this way. We are saying that we will pave the way for millions of Syrians in Turkey to return to their homeland in peace of mind, and we promise to do what is necessary for that within two years. You, on the other hand, are defending the continuation of this chaos for two more years, rather than restoring peace and stabilizing Syria. We will not play that game. We will never allow you to continue your game in Syria under the pretext of a national cause.

Let us tell you what the policy to follow is: Diplomatic relations should be re-established with the Assad administration, which the United Nations recognizes and regards as legitimate in Syria. Facilitation should be provided for Assad to restore territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political unity in his country.

I would like to emphasize one more issue here. According to the official sources of the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL, the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been accepted as a member of INTERPOL again. It is understood from this decision that Assad has also been admitted by other international institutions. Taking into account the institutional characteristics of INTERPOL, it appears that INTERPOL will especially work with the Assad administration on combating international terrorism.


Considering that one of the main themes of today’s motion is counterterrorism, why are we not speaking to and working with the Syrian administration, especially when we have such a basis as the Adana Agreement? As in Afghanistan, our soldiers should stop being an instrument to adventures in the Syrian territory, without further harm and death. It is necessary to immediately implement a planned, programmed, scheduled exit strategy, and thus to create an environment of trust with the Syrian administration once again.

Distinguished MPs, we oppose our soldiers spending any more time in a region where new variants of radical terrorist organizations are constantly emerging. We oppose the use of our soldiers as human shields against radical terrorist organizations, and we say “no” to this motion.

DEPARTMENT OF MINUTE SERVICES



Term: 27 Legislative Year: 5 Date: 26.10.2021

Session: 11 Draft Minute Page:-



Speaker: AHMET ÜNAL ÇEVİKÖZ Constituency: Istanbul



Text of the Minute:



AHMET ÜNAL ÇEVİKÖZ (Istanbul) ON BEHALF OF THE CHP GROUP – Mr Speaker, distinguished members of parliament; I have taken the floor on behalf of the Republican People’s Party to speak on the motion submitted to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on extending the presence of the Turkish Armed Forces in Iraq and Syria for two years. Firstly, I respectfully greet this august assembly and its esteemed members.

Distinguished members, there has been a civil war in Syria since March 2011. Two countries have felt the destructive force of this war the most. One of them is Syria, which is where the civil war is taking place, and the other is Turkey, which is a party to this civil war. While the civil war has ravaged Syria, displaced more than half of the country’s population, and forced millions of Syrians to flee abroad, it has also gradually dragged Turkey in, causing it to suffer from the destruction it has created.

What is the misstep taken as regards Syria? The mistake made is a foreign policy shift that had never before been espoused in the history of the Republic of Turkey: a policy aimed at regime change in Syria, our southern neighbour with which we share a land border of 911 kilometres. This policy was not only a violation of Turkey’s principle of non-interventionism in the internal affairs of its neighbours, but also contradicted Turkey’s previous non-partisan attitude in the region, one of seeking a balanced and peaceful solution to the problems and prioritizing diplomacy. Acting as the protector, backer, and military partner of the opposition elements that revolted against the Damascus administration in Syria, the government, with this policy, caused our country to be perceived as a country interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbours in the eyes of the countries in the region. But this is not the real problem, distinguished MPs. The real problem is that the government has made Turkey one of the main victims of the devastating war in Syria, as a result of the wrong policies it has consistently followed despite all warnings since 2011. The government, which shut down the diplomatic communication channels with the Damascus administration, destroyed its own room for manoeuvre and became a prisoner to the obsessions, wrong decisions, and chain of miscalculations that it has embraced in a sectarian mentality. Unfortunately, this situation has caused us to wait for news from Syria with our hearts in our mouths. Three military operations have been carried out on Syrian territory, and we lost 278 of our soldiers in these operations alone. May their souls rest in peace; their place is in heaven. All of them still have a place in our hearts and their memories are fresh in our minds. On this occasion, we once again express our condolences to all the families of the fallen soldiers and share their pain in our hearts.

Distinguished MPs, I would like to share with you some of the remarkable issues regarding the motion in question. While the first motion about the deployment of our troops in Syria came before the parliament in 2012 in accordance with article 92 of the Constitution, this has been followed, since 2014, by a series of motions asking the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to approve military deployment to Syria and Iraq together. It appears that the lump-everything-together mindset of the government, as manifested in the omnibus bills it has brought forward, also crops up in its omnibus military deployment motions.

An explanation offered is that such a method is used because the terrorist organization, which continues its activities under the name of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, has been involved in terrorist acts both in Iraq and Syria. However, on the one hand, you argue that the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of our two separate neighbours, Iraq and Syria, should be respected individually, on the other hand, by putting these two countries in the same basket, you are already tacitly accepting the violation of their independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Another oddity is the duration of this motion. Mandate is requested from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for a period of two years. Why two years, distinguished MPs? Does this mean that, let alone snap elections, even the normal elections, scheduled for June 2023, will not be held in Turkey? If the duration of this motion is extended until 30 October 2023, this means a usurpation of the will of the people, the legislative and executive that will come into power in the next elections, and the established rights and laws in place. This nation knows to say “no” to such extortions when the time comes, and we have seen examples of this before. Earlier, at the beginning of this year, we saw that the Libya and Afghanistan motions were brought before us for a validity period of eighteen months. It seems that as the elections draw nearer, the government extends the duration of the motions. What are you afraid of? There is no one left who does not see, know, or hear that you are moving away from power. Are you trying to prolong your life by extending the duration of the motions? Cowards die many times before their deaths. What is coming is coming and the outgoing is on their way out (applause from CHP seats). Extending the periods of military deployments abroad will not change this fate. That, you should know.

We talked about this time issue when the Libya motion was brought before us, too. When you brought the Libya motion for a period of eighteen months, we stated that this eighteen-month period went beyond the Libyan elections that will take place on 24 December 2021.  Is there any guarantee that the new government that will be formed in Libya after these elections will be willing to have our troops in Libya? But you did not listen. Now, everyone, including the members of the interim government in Libya, the parliament officials in Tobruk, the interim Presidential Council and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, are expressing their opposition to the presence of Turkish troops in Libya and want our soldiers to withdraw. But I have to say this: A government that does not respect its own country’s legal election processes, legislative and executive powers could not be expected to respect the legislative, the executive, and the popular will of other countries. It seems that it will be our duty to tell the Libyan people how wrong this is and to reconcile the Libyan people with the Turkish people.

And is the situation any different with respect to Afghanistan? You submitted to the parliament a motion regarding Afghanistan, again for eighteen months. We said at the time that there was a troublesome process in Afghanistan. The Taliban once again became a serious threat to Afghanistan. We stated that it seemed difficult for the Afghan government to hold on against the increasingly powerful Taliban and we needed to be careful. What happened? All that we told you became reality. Although you wanted Turkish Armed Forces presence in Afghanistan for eighteen months, you hastily withdrew our troops in six months, long before the Taliban reached Kabul. We told you that our troops were in danger and while you were trying to take over the security of the Kabul Airport. We told you to get our soldiers from this hell. We persistently raised this issue for weeks, but you continued to endanger our soldiers until it became clear that American soldiers would no longer stay in Afghanistan. Thankfully, our soldiers left Afghanistan without a single one of them coming to harm. However, you are none the wiser and are now courting the Taliban government.


Distinguished MPs, believe me, we are facing a much more dire situation in Syria than the issues I have mentioned regarding Libya and Afghanistan. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who visited Moscow on 14 September, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting, after which they announced that all foreign troops in Syria should withdraw. This message was, of course, directed at the United States and Turkey, but no one took it seriously. On the contrary, Mr Erdoğan told the United States to withdraw its troops from Syria as soon as he returned to the country without being able to meet with Biden in New York. The United States will probably start discussing withdrawal from Syria soon, because the era of reaping profits in domestic politics by putting soldiers on the territory of other countries in the world has come to an end. As in the case of Afghanistan, it is time for Turkey to abandon this policy. Operations have been carried out in Syria since 2016. What is the result? Absolutely nothing. You moved the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, our only exclave, out of Syria in 2015 and you have not been able to take that land back since then. Although you started the withdrawal from Syria six years ago, now you are talking about a new operation in Syria as if this had never happened. What is the aim? Is it to move the Tomb of Suleyman Shah back to where it was? Do not worry; we will make it happen when the time comes.
 

It is said that a military operation will be carried out in the Tell Rifaat region. I wonder whether you have considered the cost, drawbacks, and feasibility of such an operation in terms of military tactics and strategy? Today, even your fanatics in Turkey know that carrying out such an operation on the ground amounts almost to suicide; the terrain is flat, there are no hills, and most importantly, you don’t have air support. Russia has closed the airspace. In other words, if Turkish soldiers attempt such an operation, they will be hunted like birds. I wonder if this is the reason why some of our generals have been resigning and asking for retirement lately. It is clear that such an operation is not based on any military intelligence. Even if you applied artificial intelligence, you would foresee the consequences of the operation with a few simulations, but it seems that neither military intelligence nor artificial intelligence is used. They are probably just saying, “Let’s try it, maybe it works”. This can only be called guinea pig intelligence.


We have been saying what kind of danger we are facing in Syria since the meeting on the Astana process summit held in Sochi in 2018. The main problem in Syria today is that the jihadist elements in the Idlib region carry on with their actions relying on the presence of the Turkish Armed Forces and continue to hold on there. The government, which is obliged to transfer the control of the M4 and M5 motorways to the Syrian administration, continues to lose soldiers in Syria because it cannot fulfil this. It is this obstinate insistence that is not based on any strategy that is responsible for the sudden loss of 33 of our soldiers on the night of 27 February, 2020. Today, Russia and Syria are preparing to carry out the necessary operation themselves to clear the periphery of the M4 and M5 motorways from radical and terrorist elements, which Turkey has been making up excuses not to fulfil since 2018. Everyone is waiting with their sleeves rolled up. No one believes that a new wave of immigration towards Turkey will not begin if such an operation is conducted.

The government has turned Turkey into a hostage in Syria. On one side, a drifting policy which does not know where to act together with the US as well as a policy of running to Putin, not knowing what to do in Idlib, and on the other side, terrorist groups protected in Syria while trying to look cute. Do you know who is around the observation posts where our Armed Forces are located in Idlib? Terrorist elements and terrorist groups. They think that the closer they are to our Armed Forces, the safer they are. With the air support of Russia, the Syrian army is also constantly blasting them. In some cases, we are faced with bombs falling right next to our observation posts.

On the other hand, there are also terrorist groups working to bring Turkey into line and daring to intimidate Turkey; for example, the Ansar Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Squadron. Do you know how intensified this group’s attacks against our soldiers have been in the last nine months? 

Let me tell you:          

  • Heavy armed attack on Turkish Armed Forces elements in the village Ram Handan in the northern countryside of Idlib on 7 December 2020. 

–         Attack on our convoy near the village of Kafraya in the north of Idlib on 4 January 2021. 

–         Sniper attack on Turkish Armed Forces elements in the north of Idlib on 16 January 2021. 

–         Sniper attack on the military base used by the Turkish Armed Forces as a headquarters in the town of Binnish in the eastern countryside of Idlib on 25 January 2021. 

–         Attack on a convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Maarrat Misrin region in the northern countryside of Idlib on 24 February 2021. 

–         An IED attack on a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces near the city centre of Idlib on 13 March 2021.

–         An attack on a vehicle belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces at the entrance of the Idlib city centre industrial zone, with an IED that was previously placed on the road on 15 March 2021. 

–         The explosion of an IED that was placed previously on the road as a Turkish Armed Forces armoured vehicle was going by in front of a Turkish Armed Forces base in the southern countryside of Idlib on 23 March 2021. 

–         An IED attack on a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Jabal al-Zawiya region in the south of Idlib. 

–         An IED attack on the Turkish Armed Forces convoy in the Kornish region in the east of Idlib. 

–         Again, an IED attack on armoured vehicles of the Turkish Armed Forces near the village of Mastume in the southern countryside of Idlib. 

–         An IED attack on the Turkish Armed Forces advancing on the Idlib-Kafarya road in the north of Idlib on 10 September 2021. 

Let alone naming the elements that perpetrated the attacks, our Ministry of Defence cannot even give the exact number of our fallen soldiers. There is no mention in this motion that such organizations will be combatted. Likewise, there is only one sentence about Idlib, where 33 of our soldiers were martyred and which turned into a veritable swamp for us, in this motion, despite asking for a two-year mandate. The motion states: “The risks and threats targeting our activities to establish stability and security in Idlib within the framework of the Astana process continue.” Do you think this statement is sufficient to describe the dangers towards our country from Idlib? There is no statement in the motion regarding Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which is on the list of terrorist organizations of our country and is the most crowded terrorist organization in Idlib. We do not think that this motion is a text prepared with the real dangers in mind in Idlib, let alone in Syria.

In no way can we ignore that an operation to be launched by Syria with the support of Russia will have very serious consequences for our country. In such a situation, the security of our soldiers and borders should be our primary goal. Now is the time to stop the civil war that this country is in, to establish peace and to work for peace to eliminate the damage that the situation in Syria has done and will cause to Turkey. We want to construct Turkey’s Syria policy in this way. We are saying that we will pave the way for millions of Syrians in Turkey to return to their homeland in peace of mind, and we promise to do what is necessary for that within two years. You, on the other hand, are defending the continuation of this chaos for two more years, rather than restoring peace and stabilizing Syria. We will not play that game. We will never allow you to continue your game in Syria under the pretext of a national cause.

Let us tell you what the policy to follow is: Diplomatic relations should be re-established with the Assad administration, which the United Nations recognizes and regards as legitimate in Syria. Facilitation should be provided for Assad to restore territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political unity in his country.

I would like to emphasize one more issue here. According to the official sources of the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL, the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been accepted as a member of INTERPOL again. It is understood from this decision that Assad has also been admitted by other international institutions. Taking into account the institutional characteristics of INTERPOL, it appears that INTERPOL will especially work with the Assad administration on combating international terrorism.


Considering that one of the main themes of today’s motion is counterterrorism, why are we not speaking to and working with the Syrian administration, especially when we have such a basis as the Adana Agreement? As in Afghanistan, our soldiers should stop being an instrument to adventures in the Syrian territory, without further harm and death. It is necessary to immediately implement a planned, programmed, scheduled exit strategy, and thus to create an environment of trust with the Syrian administration once again.

Distinguished MPs, we oppose our soldiers spending any more time in a region where new variants of radical terrorist organizations are constantly emerging. We oppose the use of our soldiers as human shields against radical terrorist organizations, and we say “no” to this motion.