Istanbul Greek Orthodox Patriarch lends support to Turkey’s ‘Operation Olive Branch’ in Syria’s Afrin
Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomew has lent his support to the Turkish military’s “Operation Olive Branch,” launched on Jan. 20 to remove People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Syria’s Afrin district.
In a letter sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bartholomew said the Greek Church was praying for the success of the military operation in Syria.
“As the tradition of our church, we are always praying for our state, the health of our leaders, and the welfare and happiness of our people. We have not forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced because of conflicts in our neighbors in the south, especially in Syria,” his statement said.
The statement added that the church was praying to God for peace to be restored in Syria with “Operation Olive Branch.”
“It is our community’s wish that our nation develops rapidly in a confident environment with the end of the ill that is terror, which has affected all our citizens, but mostly our Kurdish citizens living in the southeast [of Turkey],” it added.
“The determined attitude of President Erdoğan, who strictly rejects associating terrorism with a religion, is being reflected onto world opinion,” the statement added.
“We pray that you and the Turkish Armed Forces will achieve success and ‘Operation Olive Branch’ will bring peace to the area as its name promises,” it said.