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M1 - Turkish safe zone in Syria
I hope that the Government will allow time for a debate on this matter, especially given the timely nature of the subject. It is very important that this House acts quickly to respond to global events as they take place and I urge the Government to allow for that.
Mr Speaker, the situation on the Turkish-Syrian border continues to disturb. We in this House have made our own decisions in the last few years about how we feel Britain should respond to the conflict in Syria and how best to tackle the growing concern of ISIS militants.
This particular motion, Mr Speaker, deals with President Erdogan's pressure to create a Turkish-controlled buffer zone within Syrian territory. He has outlined on several public occasions now why he feels this is necessary. In the lead-up to the Turkish Presidential elections, I am sure many across this House will join me in sharing his concern for the integrity of democratic processes and the rule of law.
What I do not share, Mr Speaker, is Mr Erdogan's views of the Kurdish people. Our own allies, the USA and others, have expressed their support for Kurdish forces currently operating in Northern Syria however the Turkish President has expressed nothing but distain and many of his comments could be viewed as inflammatory and in same cases, racist.
There are many fears, Mr Speaker, that this so-called buffer zone would soon be used to push back the Kurds in their own country and to potentially launch a full-scale assault on their people. That, Mr Speaker, cannot stand. A situation cannot be allowed to develop in which the Turkish militant are allowed a foothold into Syrian territory and pose a real and present danger to the Kurdish people living there.
I introduce this motion to the House, therefore, Mr Speaker, so that we can express our own views once again and make it clear to President Erdogan, that while democracy is sacrosanct and we join him in wanting a free and fair election, a Turkish-controlled buffer zone cannot be allowed. I therefore, commend this motion to the House.
Astrid Vincenti | Labour Co-Op | MP for Tynemouth
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