Turkish Cypriot premier hails anti-terror push in Syria

HATAY, Turkey

The Turkish Cypriot prime minister on Saturday said his country has always stood with Turkey in its legitimate fight against terrorism.

“We Turkish Cypriots have always taken the side of Turkey in its legitimate fight [against terror],” Ersin Tatar said, speaking at a festival held in Hatay, southern Turkey, bordering the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have long supported each other, and this will continue, he added.

Hailing Turkey’s counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria — Operation Peace Spring — Tatar said two global powers, Russia and the U.S., are on the same page for Turkey’s operation, unlike their previous conflicting policies across the world.

He said the response of Washington and Moscow is a sign of Turkey’s greatness.

He said the operation would bring peace and stability to the region, and indirectly to Turkish Cyprus, and congratulated the Turkish administration on its move.

Launched on Oct. 9, Operation Peace Spring aims to eliminate the terrorist YPG/PKK elements from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group.

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.

On Tuesday Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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