Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP and former deputy prime minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation into northern Syria was launched to ‘block a Greater Kurdistan from emerging’.
Speaking in the northern city of Karabuk to a crowd of AKP sympathisers, Sahin said, “There are some that have a project in which they will gather the Kurds from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and form a Kurdistan where they can open up to the Mediterranean form our borders. Maps of this were leaked. Do you know why we as the government launched the Euphrates Shield operation? We did it to block this from happening.”
Earlier today, talking to US based online news site philly.com, Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani had said the Turkish government was ready to listen to the idea of an independent Kurdistan.
Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation was launched in August 2016 with government officials announcing that its target was both the Islamic State group and the Kurdish YPG.