Turkey, Politics, World

Germany should act in line with alliance spirit: Turkey

Turkish foreign minister, German counterpart hold joint news conference in capital Ankara

Ali Murat Alhas and Zehra Nur Duz   | 26.10.2019
Germany should act in line with alliance spirit: Turkey


Turkey's foreign minister on Saturday called on Germany to act in line with the "spirit of alliance" on Turkey’s anti-terrorism operation in northern Syria.

"What we expect from Germany is that it acts in line with the spirit of alliance and in solidarity with us in our fight against terrorism." Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in the capital Ankara.

Cavusoglu said that YPG/PKK terror group’s affiliates in Germany had harassed and attacked Turkish citizens, and urged German security officials to act against such elements.

"Turkey is the most sensitive country to Syria's territorial integrity and the voluntary return of refugees," he said, adding that some countries -- including Israel and France -- placed little importance on Syria’s territorial integrity when YPG/PKK terrorists tried to divide the country.

He also said that over 30,000 displaced Syrians had returned to northern Syria since the Oct. 9 launch of Turkey’s anti-terror operation there, according to UN data.

Cavusoglu underlined that a total of 360,000 Syrians had returned to areas cleared of terrorists by Turkey's anti-terror operations, Operation Euphrates Shield, and Operation Olive Branch.

He stressed that 80% of humanitarian aid which has so far reached Syria went through Turkey.

Highlighting that the Syrian crisis has many dimensions, Cavusoglu said it was impossible for Turkey to overcome this crisis by itself.

"If we work together, we can reduce humanitarian plights," Cavusoglu added.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

For his part, Heiko Maas underlined the importance of Turkey as NATO ally to Germany and the need for continued dialogue amid "differences of opinion" between the two countries on Turkey's Operation Peace Spring.

Hailing a recent deal between Ankara and Moscow that suspended clashes between Turkish forces and YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria, Maas said the Turkish side confirmed during the talks that Ankara did not intend to permanently remain in Syria

He added that Berlin fully intended repatriate the children of members of the Daesh terror group -- also known as ISIS -- while it sought to obtain evidence of crimes committed by Daesh fighters to secure their trial and arrest.

On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will mount joint patrols there.

US praise for terror chief

Commenting on praise from U.S. officials for Ferhat Abdi Sahin (Mazloum Kobani), the terrorist YPG/PKK’s ringleader, he said: "It is unacceptable that the U.S. establishes dialogue with a terrorist sought by Interpol."

"He is one of the leading terrorists of the PKK and is responsible for many terrorist attacks in Turkey," Cavusoglu stressed.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen asked the U.S. State Department to issue Sahin a visa so he could visit Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump had previously said on Twitter that he anticipated a meeting with Sahin.

This was criticized by senior Turkish officials, saying that since Sahin is a wanted terrorist, he should receive treatment appropriate to Ankara’s agreements with Washington.

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would contact U.S. officials for the terrorist’s extradition if he were to set foot on U.S. soil.

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