Turkey’s top commander urges allies to keep promises
DHA photoTurkey’s top commander has underlined the importance that the NATO member has devoted to preserving the alliance’s foundational commitments in the interests of regional and global peace and stability, while encouraging allies to keep their promises as well amid Ankara’s irritation at U.S. support for Syrian Kurds.
“It can never be expected from the Turkish Armed Forces to remain indifferent to violations that disrupt our country’s and the region’s serenity and security. The Turkish Armed Forces have also been making contribution to alliances that were founded to ensure peace and stability in our region and in the world. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that commitments made and agreements reached when alliances were founded are all mutual covenants,” General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said May 31.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is a deterrent, as well as an esteemed army, he said at the “Distinguished Observer Day” of the Efes-2016 Combined Joint Military Exercise in the Seferihisar district of İzmir.
Akar said the TSK’s primary target was to contribute to security, serenity, peace and stability in the country, the region and the world, emphasizing that they favored the resolution of problems principally through the use of dialogue.
The event was also attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Aegean Army Commander Gen. Abdullah Recep.
Over the weekend, Erdoğan pressed ahead with his criticism of the United States over the U.S. troops’ wearing the patches of Syrian Kurdish forces.
In a speech delivered on May 28 in the predominantly Kurdish-populated southeastern Anatolian province of Diyarbakır, Erdoğan “condemned” Washington and accused Turkey’s NATO ally of not being “honest.”
A U.S. military spokesman said last week that American troops were not authorized to wear the insignia of People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militia forces of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which are fighting jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and said they had been ordered to remove them.
Turkey regards both the YPG and the PYD as off-shoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Akar also referred to the ongoing conflict between Turkey’s security forces and militants of the PKK.
“The Turkish Armed Forces have been continuing the counterterror operation as the most primary duty with a great devoutness and determination in line with the political directive,” he said, underlining that “soldiers, police and village guards” had been showing the utmost care “not to harm any civilians and innocent citizens.”
“Our fight will go on until security of all of our citizens, without making any distinction on the basis of ethnic and sectarian origin, is ensured and terror ends,” Akar said.