War-torn Syria has become a country that exports terrorism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
In a speech at the Turkey-Somalia Business Forum in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “The chaos in Syria has provided an environment for terrorist organizations such as Daesh, al-Nusra, the PYD and the YPG to grow and disperse”.
The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD, the PKK’s Syrian affiliate. Turkey sees all three groups as terrorist organizations.
“Turkey, a country which feels the most pain of the Syrian-origin threats, is the most affected country by the terror attacks,” the president said.
Erdogan repeated calls for the international community to take a common stance against terrorism and countries that support it.
He said that around 400,000 people had died and 12 million people been displaced since the Syrian war began in 2011.
“We, as Turkey, could not be silent to the tragedy in our neighboring country,” he said.
“Turkey is hosting more than 3 million refugees regardless of their religion, ethnicity or language.”
Outlining Turkey’s support for Somalia, he said: “Restructuring the state with all its institutions is a long and hard road full of barriers. We should support Somalia in this rocky road. [We should] never let them down.”
The forum was organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey.