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Erdogan Orders Establishment of Campus for Turkish University in Northern Syria

Erdogan Orders Establishment of Campus for Turkish University in Northern Syria

Sunday, 7 February, 2021 - 09:00
A view of the Syrian town of Kobani is pictured from the Turkish border town of Suruc, in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 31, 2019. (Reuters)

Turkey decided to establish a medical school and a higher institute for health sciences in al-Rai town, located within the eastern Euphrates area in the Aleppo countryside, northern Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the decree, which was published in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

The decision stated that a the Cobanbey Faculty of Medicine and Cobanbey Vocational High School of Health Services would be part of campuses of the Turkish University of Health Sciences in Istanbul.

Saturday’s decree is a precedent in the region and interpreted as an official declaration of Turkey’s hegemony over some parts of Syria.

In August 2016, the Turkish military seized 2,055 square kilometers of Syrian territories through Operation Euphrates Shield. It forces are still deployed there alongside pro-Ankara Syrian factions.

In 2018, the military launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin that targeted areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It carried out a third operation in the area east of Euphrates in October 2019.

Since then, it has worked on consolidating these areas’ subordination to Turkish border states of Hatay, Sanliurfa and Gaziantep.

Turkish authorities opened branches of the National Postal Authority with transactions using the Turkish lira. They also opened schools and added the Turkish language to the curriculum under the pretext of helping Syrians in areas they run.

In January, the Turkish National Postal Authority opened a branch in Tal Abyad city. The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of Governor of Sanliurfa Abdullah Erin, the director of the Postal Authority and Head of Tal Abyad’s local council Wael Hamdo.

The governor also laid the foundation stone for the new obstetrics and gynecology hospital, which will be established in Tal Abyad.

Turkey continues to provide support in various fields, including transportation, infrastructure, education, security and health to Tal Abyad, which was seized from the SDF.

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