Turkey is currently undertaking a series of security operations in Syria and northern Iraq simply to secure its borders against the PKK, which is using these countries as a launch pad for terrorist attacks.
Yet, we see claims in the Western press that Turkey is actually targeting "the Kurds."
This once again is a sad perception campaign to create the image that Turkey is against the Kurds in general and not the terrorists, who are waging a secessionist war.
Turkey is not against the Kurd, who are actually the co-founders of the Turkish Republic. This country is their land as much as it is the Turks'. Turkey is against the secessionist PKK terrorists who want to divide the country and create a Kurdish state on our territory. Thus Turkey has been fighting for nearly the group for four decades – something that has inflicted extensive material and moral damage to our country. Almost 50,000 people have lost their lives in the violence instigated by the PKK.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tried everything to bring an end to the secessionist war, even putting his own political career on the line. Yet, he has been let down badly by the PKK militants who used his peace process to lay the groundwork for an uprising in Turkey's southeastern cities in 2014 and 2015.
Unfortunately, the Kurdish people living in these towns and cities paid for the PKK's folly. They lost their homes and their belongings in the process and now they cannot forgive the PKK for all this mess.
In Syria, Turkey is not fighting the Kurds either. On the contrary, President Erdoğan has been at loggerheads with Syrian leader Bashar Assad in the past over the Syrian Kurds, criticizing the Damascus administration for totally disregarding the community as a non-entity and denying them basic citizenship rights.All that Assad did for the Kurds was to help the PKK create terrorist bases in northern Syria in the past. The PKK has driven out more than 400,000 Kurds from northern Syria during the current civil war. Most of this Kurdish population has sought refuge in Turkey.
Thus, Turkey is not against Syrian Kurds but is dead against the PKK and its affiliates like the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG). As part of its campaign to flush the PKK, PYD and YPG out of the region, Turkey entered the Syrian enclave of Afrin. The idea behind Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is to cleanse the area of the PKK and its affiliates and hand back the region to Syrian Kurds.
The same is valid for Iraq. Turkey has very effectively cooperated with Iraqi Kurds and supported the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil. But again Turkey is dead against the PKK, which has its main bases in northern Iraq's Qandil mountains.
Turkey is currently preparing for an all-out assault on Qandil, where the PKK leadership is hiding. This assault is not against the Kurds but the terrorists who have used the region as a launch pad for attacks against Turkish targets.
So when prominent newspapers like the London Times run a headline saying, "Turks preparing assault against the Kurds," they are either misinformed or running a mean perception campaign. Any Turkish operation in the region is targeting the PKK and the PKK only – not the Kurds.