ISTANBUL, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that Turkey will not allow a separate entity in northern Syria, amid reports that Arabs and Kurds have recently signed a deal to jointly rule territories on the Turkish border.
The prime minister told Turkish media in plane en route from UAE to Ankara that the integrity of Syria is "very very important" for Turkey and that Ankara does not want to see problems in Syria similar to northern Iraq.
Today's Zaman quoted Erdogan as saying that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey are against the division of Syria and that "we will not allow -- God willing -- such a situation to emerge."
Any autonomous entity in northern Syria will damage the country 's integrity, he noted, adding that Ankara will not allow any development that brings about this change.
Erdogan said the Syrian border with Turkey is not completely controlled by Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). There are areas where Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds who do not affiliate themselves with the Kurdish militants control the border area, and this situation creates significant challenges for Turkey, he said.