AKP steps up bid to get support for Afrin operation in parliament
Nuray BABACAN - ANKARA
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has stepped up public diplomacy efforts to gather support for Turkey’s ongoing military operation into the Syrian district of Afrin, where it is fighting against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), after feeling the need to provide reasons for its “Operation Olive Branch” to the international community as well as its own public.
The AKP headquarters said they have begun working to fight against negative propaganda and to continue soliciting international support for the operation.
The AKP’s foreign affairs chair, Mehdi Eker, on Feb. 1 met with the chairmen of all international commissions in parliament.
They reportedly discussed that there was a need to tell the world that “Operation Olive Branch” was being carried out within the scope of counterterrorism and in accordance with the U.N. charter in the face of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) plans to present a negative perception about the operation, particularly to European countries.
They also plan to stress that the PKK is spreading propaganda by using fake pictures of civilians being killed while Turkey is actually preventing civilian casualties. They have said they will share photographs, documents and information to back their arguments.
Among their plans, the AKP also aims to inform them about Turkey’s battles against the PKK and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and provide information about their national security activities with files prepared by the military and the Foreign Ministry.
The AKP lawmakers are also set to take their campaign to international meetings.