'Terrorists should not feel in paradise in Europe'
Turkey's foreign minister said Thursday that terrorists should not be allowed to feel safe in Europe.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart Karin Kneissl in Vienna during an official visit to the country, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said European countries should not be safe havens for terrorists.
"We think that terrorist organizations should not feel in paradise in Europe and that terrorists should receive the same treatment everywhere," Çavuşoğlu said.
Çavuşoğlu said PKK terrorists could raise money in Europe either through extortion or charity as well as smuggle weapons and drugs.
Responding to a question regarding Operation Olive Branch, Çavuşoğlu said once the operation is completed the area will find stability and civilians will be able to return to their houses.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
The three-decade-plus campaign of the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. and the EU, has killed some 40,000 people, including women and children in Turkey.
Ankara has repeatedly criticized European countries for not doing enough against the terror group. Turkey has also strongly condemned the PKK drug trafficking in Europe and has repeatedly urged action against it.
Kneissl, for her part, thanked Çavuşoğlu for Turkey's lifting its veto on the accreditation of civilians to NATO posts which she said facilitated the accreditation of Austria's NATO representative in Brussels.