European Commission report describes Turkey as an “occupying power” in Syria

The European Commission, in its 2021 country report, stated that the presence of Turkish forces in Syria makes Turkey an “occupying power.” It is the first time an European Union body officially refers to a Turkish occupation in Syria.

BRUSSELS – The European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, has stated in its 2021 country report on Turkey that the presence of Turkish forces in Syria makes it an “occupying power”, which is the first such public declaration by a high European Union body regarding Turkey’s role in the Syrian conflict.

The Commission’s report stated that Turkish foreign policy “does not match the foreign and security policy of the European Union,” and as Ankara simultaneously continues its military movements in northern Syria through the employment of mercenaries and expands its infrastructure in the northwest of the country, the report stressed that the humanitarian situation in the occupied areas raises concerns.

UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths also reported during a recent United Nations Security Council meeting that more than 90% of Syrians live below the poverty line.

Earlier, the European Union indicated that Turkish occupation forces have continued to escalate their attacks on Syria and the Kurdish Region in Iraq since the outbreak of events and acknowledged a framework of political and military escalation from Ankara, Turkey’s lack of respect for its neighboring countries, including Greece, and its violation of various international laws and treaties.