BY Hasan Esen
BRUSSELS (AA) – The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) sided with terror groups against the Turkish army’s Operation Olive Branch to remove PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups from Afrin.
Fugitive FETO members, who fled overseas, flocked to social media over the weekend. They took advantage of the situation and criticized Turkey's operation which was aimed at establishing security as well as stability along the Turkish borders, to block a possible terror passage.
Former Today’s Zaman newspaper's Ankara representative and FETO fugitive Abdullah Bozkurt claimed the operation was carried out to provoke people, saying, it was “to fuel the religious bigotry and national enthusiasm in the country.”
Another member of the terror group Tuncay Opcin, who fled to the U.S., alleged, “Whenever Turkey becomes authoritarian [state], the first [people], who pay price, are always Kurds. Everything changes but this rule.”
One of the leading fugitive members of FETO, Emre Uslu, reacted by reciting of Surah al Fath at mosques across the country to greet the operation, and said it would lead to a religious division among Muslims where he called “Kurdish populated cities.”
Bulent Kenes, the former editor in chief of Today’s Zaman daily, wrote on a FETO-affiliated website, Turkey, on the one hand, “alienated Kurds in Anatolia to Turkey, on the other hand dealt with only Moscow disregarding its deep ties with NATO and the western axis by using Kurdish groups’ efforts for self determination as an excuse.
He didn’t mention the U.S. backing PYD/PKK despite Turkey and used #AfrinSavasınaHayır in Turkish hash tag meaning “No Afrin war”.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups from Afrin.
The operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, the UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, the Turkish General Staff said.
The military also said only terrorist targets were being destroyed and the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilians.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.