By Ramazan Kaya and Omer Ertugrul
YOZGAT, Turkey (AA) - If the U.S. wants to keep ties with Turkey, it should withdraw its support for terrorists, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Saturday.
Talking to reporters in central Yozgat province, Bozdag said the U.S. must show understanding of Turkey's sensitivity and concerns.
He reiterated Turkey’s expectations and called on the U.S. to end every kind of aid provided to PYD/PKK terrorists.
“Turkey wants to have good terms with the U.S., which is a NATO ally; the U.S. also wants to have good terms with us,” Bozdag said.
“Then it is clear. You [the U.S.] will not support terror, you will not give weapons to the terrorists, you will not train the terrorists.”
The deputy premier also recalled the remarks of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Afrin operation, when he said: “I do not find it right to enter Afrin’s city center”.
Bozdag said: “Saying ‘do not enter Afrin’s city center’ is same as saying ‘do not touch the terrorists who are in there’.
“It is not understandable to hear this from the main opposition party’s head.”
He said Turkey would continue its operation till the Afrin region was completely cleared of terrorists.
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm any civilians. Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.