Turkish military head speaks in Germany, stresses ‘holistic approach on terror’
Speaking during a visit to Wiesbaden in Germany, Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar on May 24 stressed the importance of countries cooperating to fight terrorism without discriminating between “terror groups.”
Akar was in Germany to meet European counterparts, who he briefed about Turkey’s campaigns against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and what the authorities call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ),
He also spoke about Turkey’s cross-border operations into Syria, the Euphrates Shield Operation and this year’s “Operation Olive Branch,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria. Ankara considers the YPG a Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is considered a terror group by Turkey, U.S. and the E.U.
Ankara accuses FETÖ of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, which left at least 250 people dead and many more injured.
Although once closely aligned with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, the government now accuses his supporters of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of institutions, particularly the military, police, and the judiciary.