Northern Iraq and Syria is our back garden

Published 03.10.2016 23:04

In a world where the powerful declare they have the right to create "back gardens" it is only normal that Turkey sees lands that are vital to its security and have a history of being attached to its former territory as its back garden.

Isn't it a fact that Russia has declared its former Soviet lands as its "back garden"? Isn't that why Russia has intervened in Georgia, has annexed Crimea from Ukraine and is continuing its policy of dividing this land as the international community sits idle and tries to tame Moscow with sanctions? Isn't it a fact that Russia's back garden policy is sending shivers through the Baltics as the U.S. is sidelined with a pacifist president?

Well, our friends and foes should be served notice that Northern Iraq and Syria are both the back gardens of Turkey that should have never been given away to Britain and France after World War I through the Lausanne Treaty. Turkey won the War of Liberation against the victors of World War I and yet it lost its former lands and especially the volatile lands of Northern Iraq and Syria (the states of Kirkuk and Mosul of the Ottoman Empire) at the negotiating table in Lausanne.

Turkey has no desire to grab back these lands yet it does want a say on how they are run and that they will not pose a threat to its lands and its people because those lands today do pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of our country...

The PKK, which is fighting a terrorist war in Turkey that has cost 50,000 lives since the 1980s, has its headquarters in the Qandil Mountains of Northern Iraq and is also holed up in the Sinjar province of the region next to Mosul. The PKK sends its terrorists inside Turkey on hit and run missions and kills our people. The PKK's extension, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria is training PKK people in Kobani and sending them back across the border into Turkey on terrorist missions with arms supplied by the Americans. Added to all this, the notorious Daish terrorists are using the border areas to send rockets into Turkey and kill innocent civilians. Daish has also sent suicide bombers into Turkey and killed people in Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep and Diyarbakır.

So the issue is that our back garden has become an area of serious fear to Turkey and its people. This has to end.

Turkey has expected the international community to "do something" about this unacceptable state of affairs yet we have seen our allies cooperating with the terrorists rather than helping us out. Hence Turkey has taken matters into its own hands. Our forces have entered northern Syria and cleared the areas bordering our country from Daish terrorists and the operation is continuing as Turkey with the help of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is creating a safe zone 91 kilometers in length and 45 kilometers in depth.

Turkey has also served notice to the Americans and members of the international community that it will not allow the militant Syrian Kurds of the PYD to establish a state within a state in the region.

The same applies for northern Syria. The PKK is a menace that has to be dealt with. Turkey does not want the PKK in its back garden in Northern Iraq. The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) led by Masoud Barzani shares the same views. Turkey also does not want Daish in the region and is prepared to liberate Mosul, which was presented to Daish on a silver platter by the Shiite-run Iraqi army in June 2014. Turkey has no intention of staying in these regions or annexing them. All we want is to see that these regions no longer pose a threat to the vital interests of our country and our people. We want peace, security and justice in our back garden.

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