World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Ankara, Celik said Turkey’s border has been cleared of ISIL through Turkish working with the Free Syrian Army.
"Not only have Turkey’s borders been cleared of ISIL for the first time, but Europe’s borders have also been cleared of ISIL for the first time, and the borders of NATO have been cleared of ISIL as well."
He added, "Every single step by Turkey, as a sovereign state, provides security to Europe, of which we are a part, and also provides the security of NATO, which we are a member of."
Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on Aug. 24, is aimed at bolstering border security, supporting coalition forces, and eliminating the threat posed by extremist organizations, especially ISIL.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by its parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in September 2015.