Adana Agreement 1998 Wikipedia- November 27, 2020
In 1998, Turkey and Syria signed an agreement in the Turkish city of Adana that eased the tensions that brought the two nations to the brink of war. www.mfa.gov.tr/p_statement-made-by-ismail-cem-foreign-minister_-on-the-special-security-meeting-held-between-turkey-and-syria_br_october-20_-1998_br__unofficial-translation___p_.en.mfa The Adana Agreement was concluded between Turkey and Syria on 20 October 1998 in the Turkish city of Adana and contained the following points: The agreement was last renewed in 2011; Link to the Turkish parliament`s website “Syria, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, will not allow any activity that starts from its territory to jeopardize the security and stability of Turkey. Syria will not allow the supply of PKK weapons, logistical equipment, financial support and propaganda activities on its territory,” an article in the agreement said. The first visit of a Syrian president to Turkey was made by Bashar al-Assad in Ankara in January 2004.  At the end of 2004, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew to Damascus, to sign a free trade agreement following the high-level trade negotiations of former Turkish President Turgut Ozal with the Syrian authorities in the 1990s and Erdogan`s recent successful attempt to begin Turkey`s accession to the EU that would allow Europe to “extend its reach to the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran”.  On 3 April 2007, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended the opening ceremony of the Aleppo International Stadium.  Syria initially rejected the Turkish demands, but, after important negotiations, it decided to partially accept the end of the PKK`s presence in Syria. Prior to the agreement, the Syrian government allowed Ocalan to leave the country instead of handing it over to the Turkish authorities, as required by Turkish request. Instead, he was put on a plane to Moscow.   The provisions of the agreement open a legal avenue for Turkey to act in Syria, with the full agreement of Russia.
Syria`s decision to expel Ocalan and negotiate with Turkey was linked to its concern about the strength of the Turkish army in the face of its own weakness. However, a few years later, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview that “the deportation of Ocalan was not out of fear, but because we preferred you. We could either be friends with the Turkish people, or prefer the Kurds and lose you. As our preference was with you, we sent Ocalan. In signing the agreement, Syria recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization and pledged not to provide financial, logistical or military support. Until 2011, Turkey benefited greatly from the agreement in its fight against the PKK. However, when the civil war broke out in Syria, Assad was inclined to replay the PKK`s map against Turkey because his northern neighbour had taken a hard stance and criticized him. Article 1 of the Adana Agreement states that “on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, Syria will not allow any activity that originates from its territory and that would compromise Turkey`s security and stability.” However, several reports during the war suggested that Syria had given the PKK carte blanche on its soil and that the Syrian security services had murdered moderate Kurdish politicians to allow the PKK to re-assert itself in kurdish areas. Turkey is now at serious Syrian threat due to the activities of the People`s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the PKK.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “We think he (Putin) referred to this protocol, which means that Turkey can intervene in (Syria).