While Turkey's Şanlıurfa province experiences another stream of thousands of Syrian refugees, the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) have been reportedly implementing a new sectarian and ethnic cleansing campaign against Sunni Arabs and Turkmens under the cover of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes. While the operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has raised some concerns for Ankara, the town of Tal Abyad is being filled with the PYD's YPG forces, which Turkey considers a terrorist group, causing serious worries for Ankara. At a press conference on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said that a total of 23,349 Syrian refugees entered through the Akçakale border between June 3 and June 16. Bilgiç also said that more than a thousand refugees have returned back.
In efforts to attain a better grip on the regional crisis, especially the Syrian issue, Bilgiç said that Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has made numerous calls to the foreign ministers of Russia, France and the U.K. He further said that Çavuşoğlu is also expected to speak with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later on Thursday.
Bilgiç said that Çavuşoğlu met with Saudi King Salman this week and discussed the crisis in Syria along with the latest developments in Yemen and Egypt. Additionally, Bilgiç said that Çavuşoğlu had informed his colleagues on the severity of the Syrian crisis at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Jeddah. After the minister reiterated that a comprehensive strategy must be established to combat ISIS and the Bashar Assad regime, he underlined that the international community is not seeing the root cause of the reasons for the advancement of ISIS.