1998 Turkey Syria Agreement

1998 Turkey Syria Agreement

The Adana Agreement (pronounced [aˈ da.na]; Turkish: Adana Mutabakatı; Arabic: اتفاقية أضنة) was an agreement between Turkey and Syria in 1998 on the exclusion of the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK) from Syria. [1] He added that Ankara could use the Adana agreement to legally justify Turkish operations in Syria, as Syria is obliged under the 1998 agreement to prevent Kurdish fighters from using its territory as a staging area for attacks in Turkey. In 2019, the agreement took on a new meaning due to contemporary Turkish operations on Syrian territory. [1] [13] The Agreement was explicitly mentioned in the Second Agreement on the Buffer Zone of Northern Syria. With the growing presence of the terrorist group and the alleged presence of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in Syria, it met on September 24. In July 1998, Turkey`s National Security Council (MGK) and the main item on the agenda were PKK terrorists seeking refuge on Syrian territory. The Adana agreement also provided for Turkey and Syria to enter into a reciprocal agreement in which the two refrain from any military activities that would endanger the security of the other. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected the idea that the agreement was signed under pressure, saying he accepted it because he decided it would be better for Syria “to be friendly with the Turkish people,” which he said was incompatible with Syrian support for Kurdish groups. [9] “We don`t need anyone to invite us [to Syria]. We have already ensured this with the signing of the Adana Agreement in 1998. The signing paves the way for Turkey`s invasion of [Syrian] territory in the event of an adverse event and demands that members of the separatist terrorist group be extradited to Turkey,” he said. “If such an agreement had not been signed, Turkey could still launch this operation as part of the right of self-defense,” Erol added. The Adana Agreement, signed by Turkey and Syria on 20 October 1998, was the most critical topic on the agenda of the 23 January meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders mentioned the agreement at their joint press conference. Putin stressed that the 20-year-old agreement between Ankara and Damascus is still binding, while Erdogan stressed its importance, saying Turkey would keep it on its agenda. It was the first meeting between the two leaders since the announcement of the US decision to withdraw their troops from Syria. Therefore, their discussions were already important – and the issue of the Adana agreement made them even more important. What is this 1998 agreement and why is it back on the agenda after seven years of conflict in Syria? The Adana agreement was signed at a time when relations between Turkey and Syria were strained and neighbors were on the brink of war. Damascus had allowed Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK), who is currently serving a life sentence on the Turkish island of Imrali, to seek protection and direct the terrorist organization`s activities from its borders for several years. When Turkey threatened military action, Damascus expelled Öcalan and closed PKK camps in the country. The Adana Agreement should contribute to the restoration of bilateral relations. It was finally concluded after Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Harrazi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa intervened on behalf of their presidents. Some have described the deal as a Turkish-Syrian version of the Camp David agreement signed by Egypt and Israel.

Turkey and Syria signed an agreement in the Turkish city of Adana in 1998 that defused tensions that brought the two countries to the brink of war. Turkey and Syria signed the agreement in October in the southern Turkish city of Adana. 20, 1998, 11 days after Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK), was forced to leave his long-standing refuge in Syria. Under the agreement, Damascus pledged to recognize the PKK as a terrorist group, close PKK camps and ban all PKK activities on its soil, attempt or extradite captured PKK fighters, and prevent PKK leaders from using their territory to travel to other countries. The two sides also agreed to establish a direct telephone link, working groups and joint mechanisms between the security agencies to define measures against the PKK. Now that Turkey has struck important deals with Russia and the United States over a long-planned safe zone in Syria, a 1998 counterterrorism deal between Damascus and Ankara has again made headlines. Emre Ozan, international security adviser at the Ankara Centre for Crisis and Policy Research (ANKASAM), said the 1998 agreement was important because the Syrian regime recognized the PKK and its affiliated terrorist groups such as the YPG/PYD and promised to combat the terrorist presence on its territories. The Adana agreement is the result of the mediation efforts of Egypt and Iran and responds to Turkish demands that Syria stop supporting the PKK, declares the group a “terrorist” organization and expels its leader Abdullah Öcalan from the country.

Syrian state media SANA said Damascus was currently refusing to abide by the agreement. .