By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Amid Turkey’s anti-terrorist operation in northern Syria, a Turkish opposition party leader on Tuesday urged the government to get in touch with Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.
"Either we will normalize Syria by getting in touch with Assad, or we will see Syria splitting up. Either we will return Syrian refugees in safety, or we will have to look after more Syrians with each passing year," Meral Aksener, leader of the opposition Good (IYI) Party, told her party's parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Making peace in Syria depends on Turkey contacting Assad, claimed Aksener.
Aksener urged the government to contact Assad, saying: "Take this decision before it’s too late."
No scenario is "as bloody as a Syria which has split up. No scenario is as far from democracy as a split-up Syria," she added.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has also called on the government to get in contact the Assad regime, after years out of contact due to the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011.
But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly rejected such calls, saying about Assad: "What will we talk about with a murderer who has killed a million of his people?"
Turkey on Oct. 9 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.
The Assad regime has expressed opposition to Turkey’s anti-terror operation, claiming that it is illegitimate.
Erdogan has said that the 1998 Adana Agreement between Ankara and Damascus allows Turkish forces to conduct operations inside Syria near the Turkish border.