Turkish PM blasts EU Parliament motion on Afrin op
The Turkish premier’s remarks came at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Sixth provincial congress in the Küçükcekmece district of Istanbul.
“It is understood that the European Parliament is in a state of eclipse of reason. They can’t explain why they are uncomfortable with Turkey’s fight against terrorism, neither to us nor to the world,” Yıldırım said.
On March 15, the European Parliament drafted a joint motion calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Syria’s Afrin region.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin.
Emphasizing that the operation solely targets “terrorists,” Yıldırım reiterated the utmost care was being taken in order not to harm civilians.
“This operation [‘Olive Branch’] could have finished earlier. But we carry it out with great care so civilians are not harmed,” Yıldırım said.
In an earlier address during the International Naval Summit held in the Aegean province of İzmir, the prime minister had also hailed Turkey’s economic success in 2017.
“Despite the uncertainty in world economics last year and floating exchange rates in global financial markets, Turkey’s gross domestic product grew a blistering 11.1 percent in the third quarter, hitting its fastest expansion in six years,” he said.
“For 2017, our growth rate will be more than 7 percent, possibly 7.3. We will become number one in the world with this growth rate,” Yıldırım said.