By S. Ahmet Aytac
KAYSERI, Turkey (AA) – The world congratulated Turkey for the Idlib agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
Speaking at a mass opening ceremony in central Anatolian province of Kayseri, Erdogan said, “The whole world congratulated Turkey for humanitarian and strategic success that we achieved in Syria’s Idlib.”
"Turkey saved tens of thousands of people from death, millions from misery, through the stability it maintained in Idlib,” he said.
Following a meeting in Sochi last month between Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two countries agreed to establish the Idlib demilitarized zone.
Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the “stabilization” of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.
"They [terrorists] are looking for opportunities to hurt our country but we won’t give them this chance by Allah's will,” he said.
“Some who have not accounted yet for being [Fetullah Gulen Organization] FETO member and in the very heart of this betrayal gang shouldn’t think that they have escaped,” Erdogan added.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.