NSC: Turkey will not tolerate terrorist groups operating in vicinity
The Turkish National Security Council says Ankara expects Greece to end the arming of the Aegean islands.
Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) declared on Thursday that the government will not tolerate any terrorist groups operating in the area, or any of the groups supporting their actions.
The NSC met in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and released a statement that stressed, "The existence and activity of any terrorist group will not be allowed in our region, and every necessary step will be taken decisively for this."
According to the statement, the only objective of the operations, which are being carried out throughout Turkey's southern borders is to protect the defense and security of Turkey.
The statement revealed that during the council meeting, new measures were addressed, as well as an update on counterterrorism operations and their effectiveness at home and abroad.
The statement further made reference to Greece and explained that Ankara expects it to stop engaging in acts that are against international accords and law, notably the arming the Aegean islands.
Moreover, events in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina were also assessed during the meeting, with the statement adding that "separatist discourses and unilateral initiatives" should be prevented in order to maintain stability.
Erdogan: Turkey is committed to destroying PKK
Erdogan underlined on Monday that Turkey is committed to destroying the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) "until its last militant is neutralized."
He further stressed Turkey's determination to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) security strip next to its borders, on Syrian soil, claiming that it is something Turkey previously sought to do with US and Russian cooperation on its southern border.
"We do not need to get permission from anyone while taking steps concerning the security of our homeland and our people, and we will not be held accountable to anyone," he stressed.
The Turkish President said no one will be able to force Turkey into any position against its own interests in political, diplomatic, economic, and military terms through what he called "empty threats".
He also claimed that no side should be disturbed by Ankara's offensives, which is aimed at "expanding the circle of security and peace."
"We do not have to tolerate the hypocrisy of those who support registered terrorist groups with naming-change games," he said, adding that it is unacceptable for a number of countries to support PKK militants in northern Syria.
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