Turkey’s top security board says ‘fight against terrorism continues’
Speaking amid military successes against PKK militants in northern Iraq, Turkey's National Security Council on May 30 expressed the nation's unflagging determination to keep fighting all terror groups.
“Turkey continues to fight all terrorist groups with the same resolution and determination as in the past,” said the council in a statement on Turkey's Operation Claw, which was launched on May 27 to fight PKK.
PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Turning to recent events in northern Syria, near Turkey's southern border, the council said, “Syrian regime attacks on civilians in Syria's de-escalation zone damage the spirit of Astana,” referring to an ongoing peace process with Russia and Iran.
The statement, issued from the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, added that Turkey is keeping in touch with relevant countries to avoid a new humanitarian crisis and mass migration.
Turkey and Russia last September agreed to turn Idlib, northwestern Syria into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime, however, has consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.
On developments in the eastern Mediterranean Sea -- the scene of recent energy exploration -- the council said it is important to avoid provocative acts and irresponsible statements concerning the region.
The council also reiterated that Turkey is determined to protect the rights and benefits of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the island's guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.
Referring to the New Zealand massacre this March, the council also strongly condemned racist attacks targeting innocents.
On March 15, at least 50 Muslim worshippers were massacred and as many injured in a white supremacist terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.