Senior Erdoğan adviser challenges 'misinformed' UK TV host over Afrin op

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

Senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gülnur Aybet had a heated debate with a TV anchor on U.K.'s Channel 4 over Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in northern Syria's Afrin area.

When asked why Turkey launched the operation, Aybet said the country was defending its borders from the terror threat coming from the PKK's Syrian affiliates the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed-wing People's Protection Units (YPG).

"[The PYD/YPG] is a terrorist organization that has used the advantage of the war to take control of areas where there isn't a predominantly-Kurdish population. And they are attacking Turkey's southern provinces from these regions; that is why we've launched this operation to protect our borders and also to prevent the establishment of a contagious terror zone right next to our border," Aybet said.

She added that the operation was conducted in accordance with international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorism.

Interrupting Aybet's answer, host Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked her whether the world should believe Turkey or the Assad regime, which claims that the Turkish military is fighting alongside "terrorists" from the Free Syria Army (FSA) in Afrin.

In response to Guru-Murthy's question, Aybet told him he was "badly misinformed," suggesting he "check up on [his] information."

"The Free Syrian Army that is working with Turkey are not terrorist groups. They've also been trained and equipped by the United States, so this is totally wrong the way you're actually spinning this," she said.

As Guru-Murthy said that YPG terrorists were used to fight Daesh, Aybet reiterated Turkey's position that one terror group cannot be used to fight another terror group, adding that it would backfire on the international community.

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