By Etem Geylan
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday described a European Parliament motion against Turkey’s ongoing operation in Syria’s Afrin as an “eclipse of reason”.
The Turkish premier’s remarks came at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s 6th provincial congress in the Kucukcekmece district of Istanbul.
“It is understood that the European Parliament is in a state of
On Thursday, the European Parliament drafted a joint motion calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Syria's Afrin region.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
Emphasizing that the operation solely targets terrorists, Yildirim reiterated the utmost care was being taken in order not to harm civilians.
“This operation [Olive Branch] could have finished earlier. But we carry out it with great care for civilians so that they are not harmed,” Yildirim said.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
In an earlier address during the International Naval Summit held in the Aegean province of Izmir, the prime minister had also hailed Turkey’s economic success in 2017.
“Despite the uncertainty in world economics last year and floating exchange rates in global financial markets, Turkey's gross domestic product grew a blistering 11.1 percent in the third quarter, hitting its fastest expansion in six years,” Yildirim said.
“For 2017, our growth rate will be more than 7 percent, possibly 7.3. We will become number one in the world with this growth rate.”