UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES FROM TURKISH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN
By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – Türkiye has crushed all obstacles to fight terrorism, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the general assembly of Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TISK) in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said: "The West's condition in its fight against terrorism is evident, but Türkiye has overcome all obstacles to fight terrorism."
Türkiye has ended terrorism at its source, he said, lashing out at those criticizing Ankara's counter-terror efforts in the Ayn al-Arab region.
"Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) is already done (in fighting terror) ... In Idlib, in Kobani, we are taking all necessary measures, we have taken them, and we will take them from now on."
The terrorist PKK/YPG continues to try to recruit members from Syria's Ayn al-Arab, Qamishli, al-Malikiyah, Darbasiyah, al-Hasakah, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, and Manbij areas.
Türkiye demands that the terrorist group exit Manbij, which was occupied by the YPG/PKK in 2016.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
"Türkiye is now a place for them (terrorists) to drown," Erdogan added.
He pledged to boost the ranks of Türkiye's friends, but added that "our enemies will know their place. When we face a threat to our survival, we can achieve victories that no one expects."
"Though some try to drag it into artificial crises, and make it bow down, Türkiye has been on the rise and this will continue," he said.
Türkiye, he said, now makes its own decisions in politics, the economy, diplomacy, and the military, and it also creates its own infrastructure and sets its own goals.
"Our destiny is no longer in anyone's hands. Now our nation determines our destiny," Erdogan said.
Stressing that Türkiye has become influential in a wide area from the Balkans to Africa, from Central Asia to South Asia, Erdogan said his country has a stance that is able to establish real relations rather than irrational ones with its interlocutors amid political and humanitarian crises.
"Türkiye is able to look at its future with confidence and stability," he added.
Citing November inflation figures released Monday, Erdogan said they showed Türkiye’s recovery and expressed hope "this recovery will accelerate with the New Year, and it will come to a more reasonable and easy to deal with place, especially starting next February."
On the defense industry, the president said since he took office the nation’s domestic-made product rate rose from 20% to 80%.
"We went from a Türkiye that was unable to make its own bullets to a Türkiye that produces all of its ammunition, not just its bullets," he added.
Erdogan said his goal is to leave behind "a great and strong Türkiye where our young people can realize their dreams" within the scope of the Türkiye Century vision.
In October, Erdogan, chairman of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, unveiled a series of programs, projects, and targets ahead of next year's presidential and general elections as the country prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2023.