President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan adressed to mukhtars -- heads of Turkish villages and neighborhoods -- at the presidential complex in capital Ankara.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday strongly rejected a call by the main opposition leader to establish contact with Syria's Bashar al-Assad.
"He says: 'Sit on a table with Assad and discuss this issue'," he said referring to remarks by Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
"What will we talk about to a murderer who has killed 1 million of his citizens,” Erdoğan said in his address to mukhtars -- heads of Turkish villages and neighborhoods -- at the presidential complex in capital Ankara.
“You can go arm in arm with terrorists when necessary… But, we haven’t so far walked with those taking that path with permission of terror organizations, and we will not walk in the future," he added.
Erdoğan said the ongoing operation in northern Syria will pave the way for refugees, currently being hosted by Turkey, to return home.
“We will solve the Afrin and Idlib issues. We want our refugee brothers to return to their own lands and homes. Surely, we will not keep 3.5 million [Syrians] here [in Turkey] forever. After all, they want to return to their own lands as soon as possible,” Erdoğan added.
The president also criticized the Turkish Medical Association over its attitude towards Turkey’s ongoing operation.
“They are tweeting these days. What is it [they say]: 'We are against Turkey and the concept of Turkishness,'” Erdoğan said.
“Why? Because we wanted to remove ‘Turkish’ from the name of Turkish Medical Association. Yes, we want this, because this association has nothing to do with the Turkishness.”