IZMIR, Turkey (AA) - Turkey's military chief has vowed to continue counter-terrorism operations across the country "until terrorism is eliminated completely and safety is ensured for all citizens, regardless of ethnicities and sects."
In remarks made during the Efes-2016 concentrated joint military exercise currently underway in western Izmir province’s Seferihisar district Tuesday, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar said the armed forces would maintain its "primary duty of fighting against terrorism with great determination following the political instruction."
He said the Turkish military was a "respected" force, adding that the main goal was "to contribute to the security, stability, peace and tranquility of the country, the region and the world."
The military drill, which began on May 4 and ends on June 4, brought together forces from allied and friendly countries.
Senior Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Defense Minister Fikri Isik were all present at the drill, accompanied by chiefs of military units from the U.S., Japan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Ukraine and Poland.
Around 900 army personnel as well as military observers from 74 countries participated in the drill.