Commentary, Politics

Securing Turks, Kurds from YPG terrorism

Turkey's counterterrorism offensive in Afrin gives hope for people in the region to have a better life in the near future.
3 min read

While rockets fired by the outlawed PKK’s Syrian armed militia, People’s Protection Units (YPG), continue killing people residing in cities on Turkish-Syrian border, the Western countries only sit and watch the terrorist attacks, not even condemning them. What’s worse, they also demand Turkey to do the same and ignore the YPG threat. However, according to Turkish public opinion the ongoing operation by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to eliminate terrorist elements in northern Syria need have been launched earlier since the offensive aims to wipe out the terrorist threat, securing the local people in their homeland. The Turkish society also see eye to eye that Ankara needs to increase its budget and spending in domestic defense industry.

Since Jan. 20, Turkey has been using its right of self-defense against the PKK and its Syrian offshoots via the Afrin operation, dubbed Operation Olive Branch. The TSK, accompanied by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), could liberate approximately 30 residential areas within two weeks, taking firm steps forward to Afrin.

Meanwhile, the Western media promotes PKK/YPG terrorists while smearing the Turkish counterterrorism operation with some op-eds, fake news, manipulations and so on. Ignoring the fact that PKK/YPG rockets killing civilians in Hatay and Kilis, some media outlets in the Western countries romanticize the PKK/YPG terrorism. For instance, on German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s Friday edition, Turkey’s Afrin operation was targeted by a black propaganda, claiming that the Turkish army and FSA forces do not only aim to enter into Afrin but also to change Kurds’ applications like equality of women and men, decentralization, and local autonomous administrations.

Here, we need to ask the German newspaper: Which Kurds? Before the appearance of the Syrian crisis, there were 12 Kurdish groups in northern Syria; where are they now? Why have some 350,000 Kurds fled the war in Syria to Turkey and have found shelters in Turkish cities? This is simply a part of anti-Turkey campaign.

Last week, the New York Times released an article, asking Turkey to return to the reconciliation process, which was violated by the PKK. Yes, Americans are well aware of that Turkey will not stop until destroying all terrorist elements near its border, advance to Manbij and then to the east of Euphrates river; this is why they feel disturbed. They are doing their best to prevent Turkey, which is fighting on the ground against separatist groups in the region. They also try to portray the FSA as an illegal network just because they are with the Turkish troops. In the same context, they use the word ‘invasion’ for Turkey’s anti-terror offensive and show the killed terrorists as Kurdish civilians.

The U.S. urges Turkey to recognize a terrorist statelet by the PKK/YPG in Syria. Why should Turkey accept this? Is it something new in the U.S.’s regional policy? Who won in the region thanks to this policy? Of course, the PKK and its Syrian offshoots, the YPG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD)…

The PKK is stronger than ever because of the U.S.’s support. Unless Turkey does something against the PKK, it is possible that the terrorist group is likely to fire not only rockets but also guided missile from Syria to Turkey. Unfortunately, Turkey needs to act alone. It does not need those strategies that cause killing of our people thanks to the PKK romanticism. Its aim is clear: To kick off terrorists near its border and provide the security of both its own and regional people including Turks, Kurds, Syrians and so on.

Source: Daily Sabah

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Fahrettin Altun is a Professor at Ibn Haldun University and the General Coordinator of SETA Foundation, Istanbul. Altun is the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly political magazine Kriter, the author of “Modernleşme Kuramı: Eleştirel Bir Giriş" and the co-author of “Freedom Press in Turkey.” Currently a columnist for Daily Sabah and Sabah newspapers, he is also a weekly analyst on “Enine Boyuna” and “Dışa Bakış” – two television series aired live on TRT 1 and TRT Haber respectively. Altun’s research areas include sociology of media and political communication, Turkish modernization and political culture.