"Inside and outside, the work is not finished yet. The only reason we launched Operation Peace Spring is because of our intention to destroy those terror corridors and those who want to establish that terrorist state." These were President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's words during a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) provincial chairs in Ankara. Turkey is in a war against terror.
It aims to destroy the terror organizations, which create a threat to Turkey's security and integrity. In that sense, it is cracking down on the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is clearly the equivalent of the PKK terrorist organization. The world seems •to insist on denying that fact but simply walking in the YPG or Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated areas will give you all the evidence you need.In Ayn al-Arab, at the heart of the city, you can see giant posters of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK and other groups associated with it.
In the past 30 years, the PKK has exercised terror against Turkey. It is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including women, children and elderly. It is evident that the YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. So, Turkey's legal operation that started on Oct. 9 is only against this terror group, not against any civilians. On Oct. 22, Turkey and Russia reached a deal under which the YPG would withdraw at least 30 kilometers from Turkey's borders.
With the start of the operation, a local council was established in Tal Abyad. In this Syrian town, which has been cleared from YPG terrorists, life has returned to normal.
A council consisting of 23 members has been elected, which include all ethnic and religious groups that reside in the region. Abdurrahman Mustafa, who is a member of the council and is the head of Syria's interim government, said that Tal Abyad will be a pilot city and a good example for the rest of the disputed areas.
Mustafa's remarks make the picture clearer. "Western countries say there is stability east of the Euphrates River but we know that this stability comes from the power of guns."
Tal Abyad is a good place we can observe the concrete results of Operation Peace Spring. The hope is that the town and its surrounding region will be rebuilt democratically.
Turkey has no intention of taking control of any part of Syria. The only thing it wants is a secure neighbor. Imagine there is a terrorist group taking aim at civilians in a country. Then all of a sudden this terrorist group appears under a different name with the same leadership and goals in the neighboring country. Would any European country or the U.S. accept that threat, or would they agree that this terrorist group established a state next door?
In order to understand Turkey's reactions every Western country should ask these questions to themselves. We citizens of Turkey have lived through this terror over the years. There are thousands of civilians and hundreds of soldiers that were killed by the terrorists. But there never has been any atrocities between Kurds and Turks in this country. Thank God! We live with a conscious desire to share our motherland together.
In the past, there have been problems in recognizing the Kurdish identity, language and culture, but Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's leadership has come a long way. There are still problems to be solved but there is no ethnic discrimination against Kurds. And the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) never have had or will have a goal to target the Kurdish population. Let me remind you that many soldiers in the TSK are from Kurdish descent. So accusations that Turkey is taking aim at Kurdish civilians in Syria are hurting most of the citizens of Turkey.
Instead of alienating Ankara, the West should seek ways to approach Turkey constructively. Dialogue is the best way to overcome disagreements and misunderstandings.
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