ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkey’s military operations, designed to guard its borders, are not the only way to ensure security as peaceful settlement of regional conflicts also proves to be effective, Unal Cevikoz, the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair responsible for public diplomacy, told Sputnik on Sunday.
“The military operations are not necessarily the only solution in terms of our relations and to secure the Turkish border with Iraq and Syria. The basic approach of the CHP is to find a peaceful solution to all the conflicts and all the difficulties in our region,” Cevikoz said.
Ankara has been lacking a viable dialogue with the Syrian government for the last six years despite that the diplomatic efforts could promote security at the Turkish borders with Syria, the politician cited as an example.
However, the leading opposition party, which is expected to come second in the Turkish parliamentary elections, supports the fight against terrorism, such as against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey as a terrorist organization, the politician noted.
“CHP is quite adamant on the fight against terrorism. The fight against terrorism will definitely continue. And this will continue against the PKK, against ISIS [Daesh] and against other terrorist organizations which Turkey has been fighting against,” Cevikoz underlined.
On May 6, Turkish incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his rally speech that the country may launch new military operations near its borders against terrorist groups.
Turkish troops, in cooperation with Syrian opposition groups loyal to Ankara, have participated in a number of military operations in Syria, mostly against Kurdish militants, such as the ongoing Olive Branch operation in Afrin and the Euphrates Shield held from August 2016 to March 2017.
Damascus has condemned the Turkish military operations, saying they violate Syrian sovereignty.