Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Jan. 29 lashed out at the European Parliament’s Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri over her recent remarks about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “not being a threat.”
“They have appointed one PKK sympathizer lady for a country of 80 million. I only say ‘lady’ out of courtesy. I told her about the situation for two hours,” Çavuşoğlu said in a TV program on the state-run channel TRT.
“She didn’t write down anything I said, but put down everything the PKK said in her report. We should not take a rapporteur like this seriously,” he added.
In an interview with a news portal published on Jan. 28, Piri said: “For us, the PKK and its variations are not a threat. There are no attacks of the PKK in the Netherlands, Belgium or France.”
On the current Turkish-led military operation in northwestern Syria, Çavuşoğlu said: “In ‘Operation Olive Branch,’ we have been very strong both in the field and at the table. We have both breathed down the terrorists’ necks in the field and done what had to be done in terms of diplomacy.”
Çavuşoğlu, stressing that the operation is being held in line with international law and supports Syria’s territorial integrity, said he has swiftly informed the world since the beginning of the operation.
“Everyone has seen how serious Turkey is with this operation. The friends and countries we call allies, the so-called allies, the YPG’s [People’s Protection Units] supporters, and the neighbors have seen it. We have no doubt about the steps we can take in the days to come,” he added.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to remove YPG militants from the northwestern Afrin district of Syria.