The Adana agreement between the then Turkish President, Saleyman Demirel, and the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad was re-discussed in foreign policy circles last week, 21 years after it was signed. In 1998, Damascus signed a protocol with Ankara in the southern city of Adana, promising to stop supporting the PKK. Iran joined this consensus in 2003 and Syrian and Iranian support for the PKK is once again in the spotlight, with the disintegration of Syria and Turkish-Iranian competition destroying the foundations of the old status quo. He added that Ankara could use the Adana agreement to legally justify Turkish operations inside Syria, with Syria required under the 1998 agreement to prevent Kurdish fighters from using its territory as a scene of attacks inside Turkey. Syrian state media reported that Damascus was currently refusing to abide by the agreement. The provisions of the agreement open a legal avenue for Turkey to act in Syria, with the full agreement of Russia. The 1998 Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria could help allay Turkey`s concerns about its security at its shared border, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected the idea that the agreement had been signed under pressure and said he had approved it because he had decided that the best thing for Syria was “to be friends with the Turkish people”, which he said was not reconciled with Syrian support for Kurdish groups.  Accused of not respecting the agreement, the Syrian regime says it must enter Syria to protect its borders from the PKK member organization, YPG. In 2019, the agreement gained new significance thanks to ongoing Turkish operations on Syrian territory.   The agreement was specifically mentioned in the second agreement on the North Syria buffer zone. Under the Adana agreement, Turkey has the right to drive PKK fighters up to 5 km inside the border with Syria – but they cannot stay long.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday that Syrian and Turkish forces should know how to cooperate in northern Syria on the basis of the Adana agreement, a 1998 security pact, the RIA news agency reported. The Adana agreement lasted until 2011, when Turkish support for the Syrian opposition in the context of the civil war ended goodwill between the two countries and the Syrian government again began to support Kurdish groups to counterbalance Turkish efforts in Syria.  The Syrian government said that Turkey had violated the understanding of the agreement by arming rebel groups inside Syria.  In 2012, Turkish officials accused the Syrian government of directly supporting the PKK.  Syria initially rejected the Turkish demands, but, after important negotiations, it decided to partially accept the end of the PKK`s presence in Syria.