'Turkey to continue protecting rights in East Med'

Baku, January 29, AZERTAC

Turkey will continue to decisively protect its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Cyprus, the country's National Security Council declared on Thursday, according to Anadolu Agency.

Underlining that these rights arise from international law, the council said in a statement that Turkey condemned rising terror attacks in Africa, including Somalia, as well as various other regions.

Ankara will continue fulfilling its responsibilities for peace, stressed the statement, released after a meeting chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It added that Turkey has always sided with diplomacy and dialogue on every platform for the resolution of disputes related to the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus.

Assessing steps taken to eliminate terror groups beyond its southern border, the council urged international actors to fulfill their responsibilities in clearing them out, the statement added.

The council was also briefed on ongoing anti-terror operations at home and abroad, especially against the YPG/PKK, Daesh/ISIS and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

Turkey was one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terror group in 2013.

The country has since been attacked by the group's terrorists multiple times. The terror group has carried out at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed attacks, killing 315 people and injuring hundreds more.

In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

FETO and its leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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