By Ayse Yildiz
ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) – The Turkish Republic, while enjoying success against terrorist groups, will step up its efforts against dark propaganda targeting Turkey, said a top Turkish official on Saturday.
“We should wage a stronger fight against dark propaganda,” said Fahrettin Altun, Turkish communications director, speaking at a training program in Antalya, on the Turkish Mediterranean.
He stressed that based on regional power, Turkey’s negotiating power in the international arena is growing.
“Our aim is to do high-quality, worthy work equal to the rise of our country, which has a voice in the region and in the world,” Altun added.
He underlined Turkey’s successes in the fight against terrorism and efforts to show the dark, bloody face of terrorist groups to the world.
“We put up fierce struggles in the field simultaneously against terrorist groups,” he said, citing Turkey's effort against the PKK/YPG, Daesh/ISIS, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
“In this sense, Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring has just shown that despite all attempts to besiege us, we can establish our own game and overthrow geopolitical engineering projects of foreign actors similar to ones from a century ago,” he added.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
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 the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen is accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also 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.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin