Büyükelçi Demirer'in Akhbar Al Khaleej Gazetesine Mektubu , 27.10.2014
Coming across with such a subjective article about Turkey by Mr. Abdullah Al Ayubi (“Turkey’s terms serves to Daash” on 22 October 2014), in a newspaper famous for its objectivity was just surprising for me.
When criticizing Turkey’s policies, at least for the sake of being fair and equitable, one should bear in mind the fact that Turkey has a total 1295 km land border with Syria and Iraq. Any extremist and terrorist group finding fertile ground in this part of region becomes first and foremost a direct threat to Turkey’s national security than any other country in the region and the world.
Turkey and Turkish nation have made immense sacrifices since 2011. Turkish humanitarian assistance to the 1,5 million Syrian refugees who took refuge in Turkey since 2011 reached 4 billion USD. As of October 2014, almost 3 million Syrians were treated in Turkey. 33.000 Syrian mothers gave birth in Turkish hospitals. 69.000 Syrian children are being given proper school education. 30.000 Syrian adults are attending courses. 310.000 children were vaccinated. Despite all burdens and risks, Turkey through mobilizing its own national resources, continues to welcome Syrians coming to its borders, regardless of their religion, sect or ethnic identity. Yet, it is also a fact that constantly increasing number of refugees stretches Turkey’s financial means and causes social concerns too.
Unfortunately, the long lasting turmoil in Syria continues to provide the most fertile ground for all kinds of extremist and terrorist minds to take root in the region for the last four years. Drying up the Syrian quagmire should be a priority and this can only be done through a resolute and comprehensive action. The terms put forward by Turkey are just meant for this purpose. Establishment of a no-fly zone with safe areas within the Syrian territory is urgently needed for protecting the Syrians fleeing both from the current Syrian regime’s and ISIL’s atrocities and massacres. Without this step, any operation will be insufficient to eradicate the current threats or its spill over in the region.
Our region is certainly passing through one of the worst “fitna” periods of the history and the terrorist groups, including ISIL, are constantly feeding from the instability and power vacuum in Syria. It is high time for the regional countries and international powers to come out with realistic and tangible policies. Turkey, in that sense, taking into account the root causes, is trying to come out with concrete solutions for ending millions of Syrian refugees’ and IDP’s sufferings and re-establishing peace and stability in the region.
I hope that the Akhbar Al Khaleej would continue to keep its objectivity while publishing articles and would very much appreciate my letter to be published in your distinguished newspaper and on its web-site.