Statements from Presidential Spokesman Kalın on the agenda
Deputy Secretary-General and Spokesperson of the Presidency Ambassador İbrahim Kalın held a press conference at the Presidential Complex., was in the explanations regarding the agenda.
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın made a statement on visa liberation, Afrin operation, FSA discussions, western countries' PKK position, Sochi summit and economic relations.
Saying that they hope a new momentum to gain the Turkiye-EU relations, Kalın said: "Even though there have been some delays on this issue, we can say that a new process has started as of today. If this can be realized, the EU perception in Turkey will doubtlessly change, as well. The right to free movement within the Schengen system was actually a vested right of the Turkish citizens that should have been obtained much earlier. As we announced yesterday or the day before yesterday, there will be a Turkey-EU Summit in Varna on March 26 under the term presidency of Bulgaria, and Mr. President will attend it. On this occasion, we would like to thank and express our appreciation for the constructive and positive attitude the Bulgarian authorities have displayed on this issue."
Talking about the highway project in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kalın said: "A delegation from our Directorate-General for Highways is currently conducting a feasibility and route study there in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. When they have completed their work, they will return Turkey to make a presentation to Mr. President. And we, as Turkey, will take the necessary steps for this highway project to be realized as soon as possible. We know that it, as a peace road, will greatly contribute to Turkey’s relations with these two countries and to building new relations between the Bosnians, Serbians, and Croatians in the Balkans."
"Afrin operation continues as planned"
Speaking about the Afrin operation, Kalın said, "I also would like to give a brief update concerning Operation Olive Branch.It continues quite successfully as planned. Positions of critical and strategic importance have been cleared of PYD/PKK/YPG terrorists so far. On the 19th day of the operation, nearly a thousand terrorists have been neutralized. We also have had losses during this period."
He continued: "When you look at Operation Euphrates Shield, the fundamental principles, realized there, clearly show how successful the operation has been. Similarly, the terrorist elements in Afrin and its environ will be completely cleared through Operation Olive Branch, thus ensuring our border security. A significant step will be taken in terms of Syria’s territorial integrity and an important accomplishment will be achieved in line with the aim of clearing the entire Syrian territory of terrorist organizations."
"Small political calculations must be set aside"
"Let me say again that the Free Syrian Army is an important part of the legitimate Syrian opposition," said Kalın and added: "When it comes to your country, the survival of your state and your nation, you cannot view matters through a partisan approach. These are matters concerning our country and our nation’s survival and future. Here, small political calculations must be set aside, the big picture must be seen, and an absolute unity must be achieved in line with our goals. However, we, unfortunately, continue to follow with sorrow that certain circles try to make remarks contrary to that fact and attempt to present the Free Syrian Army as a terror-linked group due to small political calculations. However, the Free Syrian Army is part of the opposition."
"PKK asked help from Syrian regime"
Emphasizing that the PKK asked help from the Syrian regime, Kalın said: "As you know, the PYD/YPG terrorist organization called last week on the Syrian regime to help them against Turkiye. Even this alone shows how shady relations this terrorist organization has and that it can collaborate with any country or actor when it serves its interests. We indeed see it very clearly. There is nothing unclear for us here. However, we believe the U.S. administration, which has been supporting the YPG/PYD under the pretext of fighting DAESH, should see this point more clearly. It is actually a message, given to the U.S. administration rather than us. We hope they analyze it right and immediately cease the support they give to the PYD/YPG without further delay. The support, provided under the guise of combatting DAESH so far, no longer has any basis."