By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - It is strange for Ankara to see its allies in the NATO bloc supporting a terrorist group that Turkey is fighting on the ground, said a senior Turkish official on Monday.
"While we as Turkey expect our allies in NATO to stand beside us against terrorist organizations, we are surprised to see that some of our allies are on the side of the terrorist organization," Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said, referring to the terrorist PKK and the YPG/PYD, its Syrian offshoots.
His remarks came in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, during his visit to attend the 141st Assembly of Inter-parliamentary Union between Oct. 13-17.
Sentop said that he does not find countries’ criticisms of Turkey's anti-terrorist operation in northern Syria -- launched last week -- "rational, legal, or sincere."
Noting that Daesh, as it is for many countries, is a bloody terrorist organization in Turkey, Sentop said the PKK and its extension, the Syrian PKK, the PYD/YPG, is a bloody terrorist organization like Daesh.
"We ask our NATO allies: Is your ally Turkey or is the PKK terrorist organization?" said Sentop.
On Turkey’s current anti-terrorism push in northern Syria, Sentop said Operation Peace Spring’s sole aim is to stem the threat of terrorism from the region.
Turkey on Wednesday 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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.