Erdoğan criticizes those who accuse Turkey of committing massacres
Turkish President Erdoğan slammed those who accuse Turkey of committing civilian massacres in Syria, lays down red line.
Never in our history has Turkey carried out any civilian massacres, as it is against our nature, said Turkey’s president on Wednesday, rebuffing attempts to smear its anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
"Turkey has never committed any civilian massacre in its history and it never will. Our religion and culture would never allow to do it," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group.
In fact it is the history of those who accuse us of committing massacres that are full of such massacres, Erdoğan said.
"If you’re looking for civilian massacres, look at Afghanistan, Myanmar's Rakhine state, Upper Karabakh, and Bosnia," where Muslims were slaughtered late in the last century and in this one, Erdoğan said.
He added: "If you want to see civilian massacres, look at Cyprus before Turkey's intervention, look at Palestine just under your nose, where the Muslims are deliberately killed in the streets."
Rejecting offers to “mediate” in the conflict, he said: "The Republic of Turkey never in its history sat down at a table with terrorist groups. We are not looking for a mediator for that."
Instead, he laid down a red line, saying: "By tonight all terrorists must lay down their arms, destroy their traps, and leave the safe zone we determined."
Erdoğan's remarks came ahead of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Turkey on Thursday.
Pence will be accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and they will meet with Erdoğan in the Turkish capital, Ankara.