Last week, I had been halfway around the world where I met Turkish people from different segments of society and with different political views. There had been such a wide political spectrum that I had the opportunity to observe almost all colors of Turkey's social richness. Turkish people are political by nature, and they always closely follow the latest developments in Turkey even when they are abroad.
While we discussed Turkish politics in general, news agencies began to announce the initiation of Turkey's military intervention in Afrin. After receiving the news on Operation Olive Branch, I saw that not anxiety, but joyfulness, confidence and composure predominated in our group to such an extent that all political and social differences faded away and a spirit of unity emerged. It resembled the spirit that emerged after the attempted coup of July 15. I realized that Operation Olive Branch to expel the People's Protection Units (YPG) from Afrin has indisputably high public support.
Their joyfulness derived from their determination to support Turkey's war on terrorism. Regardless of the support base of the terrorist organization, they could not endure seeing Turkey in a position of desperation against terrorism and Turkey's international image damaged.
Nobody was anxious about the reactions of the United States, Russia or Iran to Turkey's military intervention in northern Syria. Nobody was interpreting the operation as an act of irredentism or violation of Syria's territorial integrity. Everybody was aware that Turkey suffers from terrorism in the midst of hypocrisy from Western and regional powers.
Ankara's resoluteness, its shuttle diplomacy to inform countries and the complexities of the military details of the operation create confidence in Turkey's public and refreshed Turkey's international image as a great state. As soon as I returned to Turkey, I realized that our aforementioned small group almost perfectly represented the general spirit of the Turkish public. While the nationalist and Kemalist at the table were proud of Turkey's military move and declared support for the president, I understand that notwithstanding their political views or social origins, everybody in Turkey feels the same.
After the end of the Cold War, Western countries began to use the conception of global terrorism and then that of Islamic terrorism. Indeed, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Western countries tried to penetrate Islamic countries. Under the veil of fighting against al-Qaeda, Daesh and Boko Haram, Western countries began to occupy Islamic countries. Eventually, they turned the whole Muslim world into a war zone. The U.S. has been on a terrorist hunt from Pakistan to Libya.
As opposed to Western countries, Turkey faces a genuine terrorist threat. The terrorist attacks in Turkey by the PKK and Daesh in the past decade prove the urgency of Turkey's terrorism problem. The PKK has been supported by several Western states, while even the attitude of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia against it is ambiguous. Turkey's war on terrorism is indisputably legitimate, and its only aim is to ensure the tranquility and peace of the Syrian people in a unitary and democratic Syrian state. Turkey has no imperialist aspirations.
Turkey's military move is in its national interests. It is a righteous military intervention with legitimate motives. While international and regional powers respect Turkey's military operation in Afrin, it is obvious that Turkey will succeed in its war on terrorism as long as it abides by the norms of justice and righteousness.