In the wake of Ankara's Olive Branch Operation, the military offensive in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, Erdogan promised new Turkish missions in the country.
"We will not give up on constricting terrorist organisations. We will add to the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations. Our soldiers are ready for new missions," the president said.
By late March, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin was fully captured by Turkish military forces; however, Erdogan stated that the advance would not end with the capture of Afrin, noting that the regions of Manbij and Idlib would be the next targets.
The offensive in Afrin was launched after Ankara ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in the province of Aleppo in March 2017. Euphrates Shield was Ankara's first direct military intervention in Syria; the objective was to push Daesh militants away from the Turkish border as well as prevent the advance of local Kurdish groups.
On Prospects of EU Membership
Erdogan pointed out that Turkey had never abandoned its goal of joining the European Union, unlike the country's European counterparts which did not appear to show the same determination on the issue.
In March 2016, the bloc and Ankara agreed on a deal, under which Turkey vowed to accept all undocumented migrants who arrive in the EU through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. The Union promised to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid, introduce a visa-free regime, as well as provide financial aid to Turkey to cover the costs of taking in asylum-seekers.