The Turkish government is planning to communicate its justification for Operation Olive Branch with the Kurdish population in the country's southeastern and eastern provinces, in an attempt to prevent misinformation.
In the process, it will focus on questions like, "Why the operation in Afrin was launched?" and "Who is it targeting?" to counter PKK propaganda.
Speaking to journalists in Parliament earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık said the government will take action in the face of a smear campaign and wave of misinformation spread by pro-PKK circles on social media.
"We are working hard so that our Kurdish citizens do not get confused regarding this issue. I will travel to a number of provinces Friday, starting with Şırnak, to hold meetings," he said.
Işık said he will hold meetings with government employees, nongovernmental organizations, and politicians in the region to listen to their problems and issues.
"We will also inform them about the main principles behind Operation Olive Branch, which was launched against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) in northwestern Syria's Afrin," he said. "We have made it clear that the operation only targets terrorist elements. However, the PKK is spreading lies to confuse the people and turn the situation to their advantage."
International media has also been trying to portray the Turkey-led operation against PKK-affiliated elements as "a war against Kurds." Several media outlets have been also spreading baseless misinformation in regards to Turkish air and ground operations.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to liberate Syrian people from terrorist oppression.
Işık said the government will inform Kurdish citizens about the reality.
"We will develop a policy. The president will also visit Batman and Bitlis. This way, we will have a sense of the atmosphere in five to six provinces in the region," he added.
The PKK and the YPG are also spreading misinformation on its social media account. Recently, an account affiliated with the YPG posted a photo of a residential building engulfed in flames with the caption: "Turkish terrorist army targets civilian homes in Afrin." But, shortly after it was posted, other social media users discovered that the image was from a fire that took place in Kuwait in 2016.
In a similar incident, another terrorist-linked account posted pictures of civilians, claiming they were injured in Turkish military attacks. The pictures were later found to be from a YPG attack in Syria's Azaz on Jan. 19.
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