By Talha Ozturk and Lejla Biogradlija
BELGRAD, Serbia (AA) – Turkey expects the support of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in its fight against terrorism, a senior Turkish official said on Sunday.
“We [Turkey] want to see the TRNC stand by us in our struggle against terrorism and for Operation Peace Spring [in northern Syria]," Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop said.
His remarks came in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, which he visited for a meeting of Asian Parliamentary Assembly.
As part of his visit, Sentop met Teberruken Ulucay, his counterpart from TRNC, and he expressed his disappointment over criticisms from TRNC about Turkey’s ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
Ulucay said: “Any distress Turkey experiences affects the TRNC as well. So, we are very sensitive about Turkey’s concerns.”
Turkey's top officials criticized TRNC President Mustafa Akinci over his remarks against Turkey's military operation in Syria.
Sentop also met Gabriela Cuevas Barron, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and briefed her about Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.
“There was left no solution but a military operation,” Sentop said, “Turkey tried everything before it launched a military operation to prevent the establishment of a terrorist corridor in the region.”
He said no results were obtained despite all the efforts.
He stressed that Turkey is carrying out Syria operation under it rights borne out of international law.
“Turkey is hosting millions of civilians. Despite documents that show some European countries provide logistics to the terrorists, they are targeting Turkey,” Sentop said.
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.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak