'PYD, YPG, PKK arms of same organization'

Turkey expects other NATO allies to see the connection, says head of Turkish delegation to NATO parliamentary assembly.

Ersin Çelik
13:41 - 22/02/2018 Thursday
Update: 13:42 - 22/02/2018 Thursday
Head of the Turkish delegation to NATO parliamentary assembly Ahmet Berat Conkar
Head of the Turkish delegation to NATO parliamentary assembly Ahmet Berat Conkar

Head of the Turkish delegation to NATO parliamentary assembly said Thursday that PKK, PYD and YPG are terrorist organisations which are part of the same structure.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in Brussels, Ahmet Berat Conkar said the YPG and PYD are equal to the PKK and all of them are arms of the same organization.

Conkar said NATO allies were already aware of the connection but choose to stay silent over the issue.

NATO's parliamentary assembly is made up of delegates from 29 members states. Turkey has 18 MPs, making it one of the countries with the highest number of delegates.

Conkar, who is attending NATO Parliamentary Assembly's Joint Committee Meeting, said the Turkish delegation had briefed the allies on Turkey's ongoing counter-terror Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin against YPG/PKK-Daesh.

"We stressed that this issue should be one of the priority agenda of NATO, especially during the fight against all terrorist organizations, and that this support is very important in terms of solidarity and harmony of NATO alliance," Conkar said.

Conkar said no NATO ally showed a negative stance on the Afrin operation. "The remarks of the NATO secretary general and the statements made by other major countries showed that the issue has acceptance."

"At this point, I can say there is no reaction, no pressure," he added.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

Following the operation, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg had said Turkey had legitimate security concerns.

"No other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks, but we expect Turkey to respond in a proportionate and measured way," Stoltenberg had told reporters in Brussels.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and the "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

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