Representatives of various NGOs, trade associations and industrial unions across Turkey arranged simultaneous news conferences on Wednesday in support of the country's recently launched counterterrorism operation in northeastern Syria, calling for the international community to act against terrorists.
News conferences were held in the eastern provinces of Erzurum, Kars, Ardahan, Erzincan, Bitlis, Muş and Van, the northwestern provinces of Sakarya, Bartın, Zonguldak, Bolu, Kocaeli, Karabük, and the northern provinces of Samsun, Çankırı, Kastamonu, Amasya, Sinop and Çorum.
The events were attended by representatives from the local chambers of commerce and industry, bar associations, unions of the chamber of merchants and craftsman, and other participants from several NGOs.
Press releases issued after the conferences asserted support for the country's Operation Peace Spring, which targets the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh terrorists in northeastern Syria.
The statements stressed that the operation is supported by Syrian refugees, who have been victims of the civil war, since Turkey aims to clean the region of terror elements to provide for their voluntary return to their homes. They also called on the international community to stand up to terrorism and support Turkey's fight against it.
Meanwhile, university students from Istanbul University (IU) and Yıldız Technical University (YTU) arranged separate gatherings and marched to support the country's counterterrorism efforts.
Students of the YTU gathered in the university's compound in Davutpaşa district and marched with Turkish flags.
In a separate event, members of various student clubs at IU gathered at the university's Beyazıt compound, joined by several academicians.
In a press release, the group asserted that they support the operation, which aims to clear the Syrian lands of the PKK and related terror groups who occupied the northern part of the country and forceful deported locals.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the YPG, on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.