Turkey on Monday hit back at European Union statements on recent Turkish moves in northern Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We totally reject and condemn the decisions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council taken under the titles of North East Syria and Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and all the calls made on our country,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.
The bloc has “no right to give lesson to our country” on the fight against terrorists, said the statement.
“We will seriously reconsider our cooperation with the EU in some areas due to its unlawful and biased attitude,” it added.
It also said that it is unacceptable to characterize as “illegal”Turkey’s research and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean to protect both its rights and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
On Monday the EU Foreign Affairs Council said that Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria should be addressed though political and diplomatic means, not through military action.
The council said in a statement that Turkey should cease its anti-terrorist Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria and withdraw its forces.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling there, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
Since this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — the Fatih and the Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.
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