Turkey's main opposition leader meets EU ambassadors

Turkey's operation in Afrin, relations between US and Turkey, and Syrian refugees come under discussion

Turkey's main opposition leader meets EU ambassadors

World Bulletin / News Desk

The leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, met EU ambassadors in capital Ankara on Thursday.

The closed to the press meeting took place at a hotel in Ankara. CHP Deputy Chairman Ozturk Yilmaz also attended the meeting.

Yilmaz told reporters it was a fruitful meeting.

He said Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin, which aims to remove terrorists from the region, was one of the topics discussed during the meeting.

“We saw that some EU ambassadors, especially Germany, have adopted a different attitude towards the Afrin operation.

“But our [CHP’s] support for the operation is clear since the beginning,” Yilmaz said.

He said Germany remains silent about the presence of the U.S. and Russia in Syria, but when Turkey fights against terrorists there, the country acts differently.

He said the CHP backs a comprehensive solution in Syria, and added that they assured the EU ambassadors that the operation was against the PKK terrorist group and terrorism, and it could not be seen as an invasion.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria, amid growing threats from the region.

The operation is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from the cruelty and oppression of terrorists, according to the Turkish General Staff.

About the issue of trust between Turkey and the U.S., Yilmaz said: “We are having trust-related issue with the U.S.

“The EU ambassadors were curious about the way our party would follow in overcoming the issue. So, we explained it to them,” Yilmaz said.

The U.S. has been supporting the YPG/PKK under the name of SDF, which is considered by Ankara as a Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged more than 30 years of war against the Turkish state.

American support for the terror group has long vexed Ankara, as Washington views the SDF as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment in the face of strong objections by Turkey.

Noting that they were asked whether they support Syrian refugees’ integration to the Turkish society or sending them back, he said his party supports their return after peace in Syria.

Turkey, as the largest refugee hosting country in the world, hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees.

Last Mod: 22 Mart 2018, 15:51
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