Faeser on Turkey offensive: prevent escalation of violence
The Interior Minister’s visit to Turkey comes at a time of turbulent times. Ankara recently attacked targets in Syria and Iraq. In Ankara, Faeser calls for compliance with international law.
After the new offensive in Syria and Iraq, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called on Turkey to prevent an escalation of violence. Germany stands by Turkey’s side in the fight against terrorism, “but the reaction has to be proportionate,” said Faeser on Tuesday in Ankara at a meeting with her Turkish counterpart Süleyman Soylu. She urged compliance with international law and the protection of civilians.
Since Sunday, Turkey has been flying attacks on Kurdish militia positions in Syria and Iraq, which it blames for an attack on November 13 in central Istanbul. Ankara is attacking targets in regions controlled by the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG. Turkey sees the YPG as an offshoot of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK. The PKK is also considered a terrorist organization in Germany, while the YPG is not. Soylu defended Turkey’s actions, saying there were efforts to establish a terror state there. Ankara cannot allow that.
Soylu is considered a nationalist hardliner in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cabinet. At the meeting of the two interior ministers, topics such as combating organized crime and migration were also discussed, it said.
The federal government had already called on Ankara to comply with international law on Monday. Turkey justifies its offensive with the right to self-defense. “The right to self-defense does not include a right to retaliation,” said Foreign Office spokesman Christofer Burger.