Erdoğan pays homage to killed soldiers, veterans in message
ANKARA –Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted the vital importance of killed soldiers and veterans in the fight against terrorism in a message he sent to the state commendation medal ceremony held in the Turkish capital Ankara on Jan 23.
“Our brothers and sisters martyred or wounded in the fight against terrorism, during cross-border operations, and on July 15  are the current standard bearers of this great cause,” said Erdoğan in his message.
The commendation medals presented to veterans and the families of martyrs are “symbols that will remind you of the appreciation and gratefulness of our state and nation for generations to come,” he said.
“Because of you [martyrs], we have been able to live in these lands for a thousand years, drink from the same springs and proudly watch our flag fly high,” Erdoğan also said. He added that every Turkish citizen and every state institution would stand by and support all veterans and families of martyrs forever.
“Every single martyr that we bury here and every single veteran that has won our hearts further strengthens our attachment to these lands,” said the president.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli also attended the ceremony.
“We will continue to fight in Jarabulus, the Gabar Mountain and Mount Judi,” Yıldırım said.
“We will protect our laws, democracy and brotherhood and crush all terrorist groups,” he said.
In his speech, Defense Minister Canikli said “Operation Olive Branch,” launched by the Turkish Armed Forces on Jan. 20 in Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin, would be “yet another heroic saga.”
“This is an operation to extirpate all terrorist groups,” said Canikli.
“Those who threaten Turkey’s national security will be wiped out,” he said.