Erdogan: Turkey's only expectation from NATO is to act as a proper ally

Erdogan: Turkey
# 07 May 2019 10:25 (UTC +04:00)

The only expectation that Turkey has for NATO is that the organization act as a true ally to the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday, ONA reports citing Daily Sabah.

Speaking at a NATO meeting in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan underlined Turkey's ongoing fight against terrorism and reiterated its expectation of support from NATO, saying that the organization should stand behind its fundamental principles regarding the spirit of the alliance. "It is against the nature of NATO to expect ally countries to deal with serious security challenges such as terrorism by themselves," Erdoğan said, emphasizing that Turkey has been fighting multiple terrorist organizations at once, all by itself.

Reminding the audience about Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria that was launched against Daesh, Erdoğan said Turkey has become the only NATO state that had close combat with a terrorist organization that posed a threat to the whole world.

Previously, Turkey conducted two offensives in northern Syria: Operation Olive Branch and Operation Euphrates Shield. The first was launched by Ankara to clear its borders of Daesh terrorists, while the second was to prevent the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units' (YPG) ultimate plan of establishing an autonomous region in northern Syria by connecting Afrin to Kobani and Jazeera.

Following the operations, Turkey has also been involved in rebuilding infrastructure and health and educational institutions in the towns. Schools are being renovated and a hospital is being built. Turkey has also helped locals build olive oil facilities in the town where agriculture is the main source of income for residents. Thanks to the success of both operations and post-operation developments in the liberated areas, the number of refugees returning to their hometowns has increased in recent months. The number has reached more than 320,000, the president said.