Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has said that Turkey is in “a new war of liberation,” as he commented on events that unfolded in Turkey in 2016.
“Turkey has been waging a new war of liberation in the recent years,” President Erdoğan said in his New Year’s speech on Dec. 31, adding that Turkey is under “a major attack.”
“Our national unity, our territorial integrity, our institutions, economy, foreign policy, in short all of our elements that keep us standing as a state are under a major attack,” he also said.
Saying that many of the Turkish security forces and citizens lost their lives in attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK), President Erdoğan noted that Turkey is entering the new year with “new hopes and expectations.”
“Not only our country, but also our region and the world is going through the pains of entering a new era. If we get over this transition period in a strong way, if we can continue moving towards our ambitions, a bright future expects us,” he said.
Erdoğan also mentioned the July 15 failed coup attempt in his speech, which is widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“The July 15 coup attempt, without a doubt, marked the lowest terrorist act and an invasion attempt of the history of our Republic. Turkey, with its 79 million citizens, managed to turn this disaster to a new beginning and a new resistance with its firm stance against the coup attempt,” he added.
During his speech, Erdoğan said that the struggle against the Gülenist network is a long one which requires “absolute attention.”
He also talked about Turkey’s ongoing military campaign in northern Syria.
“Our borders are beign cleaned up from all terrorist organizations, including ISIL, PYD [People’s Democratic Union] and YPG [the People’s Protection Unit],” he said.
Turkey regards the Syrian Kurdish PYD and its military wing the YPG as terror organizations due to their links to the outlawed PKK, with which it has been fighting against since mid-1980s.
Moreover, President Erdoğan praised the development of economy, saying that Turkey is among the first spots in growth rate.
“God willing, we will both crush the heads of the terrorist organizations in 2017 and will carry out way bigger economic successes,” he said.