Global anti-Turkey propaganda will not succeed: Erdoğan
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
“The launching of a worldwide war of propaganda based on lies, slander and distortion, by those who cannot deal with Turkey on the ground will not work,” said Erdoğan during a provincial congress by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.
“Those who see us as yesterday’s Turkey and treat us in this manner have begun to gradually realize the truth,” said the president.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin.
‘Not in our blood to attack civilians’
Erdoğan rejected claims that civilians were being targeted during the operation.
“It is not in our blood to attack civilians, but in yours,” he said.
Erdoğan later attended another provincial party congress in the neighboring province of Osmaniye where he complained of the lack of a “serious” global protest against the killings in Syria’s besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
“Have you heard of a country that is seriously protesting the ongoing violence in Eastern Ghouta?” he said.
“They keep talking about civilians’ [rights]. Well, aren’t there civilians in Ghouta?” said Erdoğan.
“Look at those who had been defying us and our country a month ago. Today, they are begging and crying to their Western lords saying, ‘Please, save us,’” he said, referring to the YPG militants in Afrin.
“It does not matter who they cry or beg to, we will give them what they deserve,” Erdoğan said.
1,951 terrorists ‘neutralized’ in Afrin
He added that 1,951 terrorists have been “neutralized” so far during “Operation Olive Branch.”
Turkish authorities generally use the term “neutralize” to signify the targets either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Erdoğan said the country was determined to have a global voice on a range of issues, from economy to democracy.
Turkey’s revival has motivated several communities in the region and across the world, he added.
Criticizing former colonialists and their “voluntary” slaves, the president said eradicating terrorism would be crucial in preventing a retreat to colonialism.