World Bulletin / News Desk
Erdogan told an audience of police cadets that Turkey had been threatened by the July 15 coup attempt, political and diplomatic conspiracies, economic attacks and extremism from several sources.
“We will continue this fight that we have carried out together with our nation to leave the inheritance of the great and mighty Turkey for future generations,” he told a security conference at the presidential palace in Ankara.
“We will continue at the cost of our lives if necessary.”
The president said Turkey’s battle would boost Turks’ self-confidence.
The attempted coup, in which 248 people were martyred, saw elements of the Turkish Armed Forces try to seize control. The government has said the Fetullah Terrorist Organization led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen was behind the plot.
The country has also been struck by terror attacks mounted by ISIL and the PKK in recent months that have led to hundreds of deaths. It has also launched an operation in Syria to drive ISIL from Turkey’s borders.
On the international stage, Ankara has condemned Western governments for failing to support it over the coup bid and in combating terrorism.
Erdogan said Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on Aug. 24 and has seen opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by Turkey fight to drive ISIL from northern Syria, was proving successful and that FSA troops had now surrounded Al-Bab.
The ISIL-controlled town lies around 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of the Turkish border and both the FSA and the PKK/PYD, which Turkey has listed as a terror organization, are battling to rout ISIL.
Turkey has demanded that the PKK/PYD retreat east of the River Euphrates, leaving both the area around Al-Bab and the town of Manbij, which it controls.
Erdogan repeated the demand that the PKK/PYD “completely withdraw” from the area.
Although the PKK is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU, only Turkey considers the PYD a terror organization and has fought to prevent it linking territories in western and eastern Syria that would give the PKK/PYD control of most of Turkey’s southern border.