Skip to main content

Erdogan's Syria plan: Resettling the Syrian refugees or ousting Kurds from their land?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks in United Nations indicate that Turkey has dangerous intentions about the east of Euphrates.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid - HP1EF9O186P9I

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the rostrum at the United Nations General Assembly and delivered a colorful address full of theatrics and accompanied with maps. In his speech, he contested the legitimacy of Israel’s frontiers and also disclosed Turkey’s project to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria that would seemingly resolve, in a radical way, the problem of Syrian refugees.

Erdogan sounded consistent with his previous statements regarding the creation of a Turkish-controlled safe zone about 20 miles (32 kilometers) deep that would extend parallel to Turkey’s border with Syria for about 480-490 kilometers (some 300 miles). 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.