Turkey, Politics

'Without Turkey's operations, terrorist statelets would emerge in Iraq, Syria'

Turkey will never allow terrorist formations near its borders, tolerate terrorist statelets, says Omer Celik

Gozde Bayar   | 28.10.2021
'Without Turkey's operations, terrorist statelets would emerge in Iraq, Syria'

ANKARA

"De facto terrorist statelets" would have emerged across Turkey's southern borders with Iraq and Syria had Ankara not conducted its anti-terror operations in recent years, the spokesman for Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) Party said on Thursday.

Turkey "will never allow" any terrorist formation near its borders or tolerate such statelets Omer Celik said after a meeting of the AK Party's Central Executive Board headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Ankara. The closed-door meeting lasted for nearly 90 minutes.

The Turkish Armed Forces entered the region before such formations could be established, added Celik.

Turkey's parliament on Tuesday ratified a motion extending the government's authorization to launch cross-border anti-terrorist operations in northern Iraq and Syria for two more years, as well as continued participation in a Lebanon peacekeeping mission.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

It also launched the Pence operations as a series of offensives since 2019 against terrorist organizations in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU-- has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.


Osman Kavala case

On a recent joint statement of 10 countries' ambassadors in Ankara on the ongoing trial of Turkish businessman Osman Kavala, Celik said it was neither appropriate for the diplomats' prestige nor in line with a diplomatic mission's activities.

He said he hoped that similar incidents would not occur in the future.

Last week, Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of these 10 countries -- including the US, Germany, and France -- for trying to meddle in the Turkish judiciary with a joint statement on the ongoing case of Osman Kavala, who has been accused of involvement in a 2016 defeated coup.

Erdogan on Saturday ordered the foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors persona non grata.

On Monday, the 10 embassies announced that they abide by Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, which requires foreign envoys not to interfere in the internal matters of the states they serve in.

Erdogan signaled approval of the ambassadors' new stated commitment, adding that from now on, he expects them to "be more careful in their statements regarding Turkey's sovereign rights."

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