Volkswagen delays final decision on Turkey factory over Syria operation

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 15.10.2019 14:24
In this file photo taken on May 19, 2017 the logo of German car maker Volkswagen (VW) stands outside the main administrative building of the Volkswagen brand at VW plant in Wolfsburg, central Germany. (AP Photo)
In this file photo taken on May 19, 2017 the logo of German car maker Volkswagen (VW) stands outside the main administrative building of the Volkswagen brand at VW plant in Wolfsburg, central Germany. (AP Photo)

Volkswagen has postponed the final decision whether to build a car plant in Turkey, the company said, amid international criticism on Ankara's military operation in Syria.

"We are carefully monitoring the current situation and look with concern at current developments," a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen established a subsidiary in Turkey's western Manisa province, while the company said that it was still in the final stages of negotiation and that it had not made a final decision on the factory.

Volkswagen supervisory board member Stephan Weil, prime minister in Lower Saxony where the carmaker is based, said that he could not imagine that Volkswagen will make an investment given the current circumstances.

Lower Saxony is an influential voice at the carmaker with a 20% shareholding.

"I have the impression that my view is shared by several other people in the supervisory board," Weil said, adding that topic would to be discussed at the next meeting of the supervisory board in mid-November.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on October 9 at 4 p.m.

The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.

Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.

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