Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik on Wednesday said Turkey’s fight against terrorism also protects the borders of Europe and NATO states.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Ankara following his meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Celik referred to the ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield and said: “Turkey’s fight against terrorism is for the protection of the borders of Republic of Turkey as well as Europe and NATO.”
He also pointed out the lack of adequate support from Turkey’s allies in its fight against Daesh in Syria despite hard times in the wake of a “heinous coup bid”.
The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield began in Syria in late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
“If we are determined to share democratic values, nowadays, to advocate democracy is to stand by Turkey. Today, advocating democracy means backing Turkey in fighting against coup plotters and terror organizations,” Celik said.
The minister underlined Turkey’s fight against terrorist organizations, including Daesh, Fethullah Terrorist Organization and the PKK/PYD.
Soini said Finland will support Turkey’s EU membership bid.
Celik thanked the Finnish minister for his country’s solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.
Soini later also met Turkish president and prime minister as part of his official visit.
By Ecenur Colak and Erkan Avci