Turkish deputy PM says EP's anti-Afrin operation move ‘null and void for Turkey’
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson Bekir Bozdag slammed a motion approved by the European Parliament that calls for a halt to Ankara's Operation Olive Branch in northern Syria's Afrin region Yenisafak reported
“With this move, the European Parliament (EP) has shown once again that when it comes to Turkey, it cannot be fair, objective or neutral and that it will always side against Turkey. With this decision, the EP has violated the basic values that raised the EU, and chosen to stand in solidarity with terrorist organizations rather than stand in solidarity with Turkey,” Bozdag tweeted on Friday.
“Operation Olive Branch was initiated to save locals from the terrorists’ oppression and cruelty, clear the region of terrorists and establish security and stability. The values the EU stands for have been denied in the decision that goes against its requirement to fight against terror,” he added.
The non-binding motion approved on Thursday calls for Turkey to halt its Operation Olive branch as well as urging the country to remove its troops from Afrin, where Ankara is targeting YPG terrorists in an offensive launched nearly two months ago.
“Those who see the future of Europe in co-operation with terror groups are causing the greatest damage to the EP and European people. The EP’s decision is null and void for Turkey. Turkey will not abandon its counterterrorism efforts because the EP made this decision. Operation Olive Branch will continue until the last terrorist in Afrin is neutralized, and peace, safety and security prevail in the region,” Bozdag said.
Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization that is a Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade against the Turkish state. The PKK is deemed a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States as well as by Turkey.
Turkish President Erdogan is due to meet senior European Union officials later this month in neighboring Bulgaria, which holds the bloc's rotating presidency, to discuss EU-Turkey relations as well as regional and international issues.