‘NATO must support Turkey’s fight against terrorism’
Turkey has asked its NATO allies for support in the fight against terrorism, the country's communications director said Tuesday.
"Our allies must support us in our fight against terror groups just as we support their security by being a top contributor to NATO, handling the refugee crisis, and pursuing DAESH!" Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter, referring to the NATO leaders summit being held from Dec. 3-4 in London.
Altun said the summit is a great opportunity for candid discussions about significant issues.
"Turkey's efforts against international terrorism as well as our security needs and concerns must be recognized. It is only through meaningful dialogue that NATO can be strengthened," he said, adding Turkey's critics have dared to question its national security concerns and NATO membership.
Referring to the Syrian refugee crisis, Altun said Turkey put its forces on the ground in Syria to ensure the safe return of the refugees to their country.
"We have prevented large swaths of territory from becoming terrorist safe havens. Our allies have criticized our efforts instead of supporting them!" he stressed.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.