The Turkish Foreign Minister on Thursday lashed out at the French President’s warning about the Turkish offensive in Syria, saying France “has no lessons to give” to Turkey.
“France, nor any other country, can give lessons to Turkey. They know very well what the purpose of this operation is, “said Mevlüt Cavusoglu, answering questions from journalists in Ankara.
On 20 January, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrine region, north-west of Syria, to dislodge the Kurdish militia from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is considered “Terrorist” by Ankara but allied to the United States.
Despite calls for restraint, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Tuesday that the current military offensive would not stop “before the elimination of the terrorist threat” on the Turkish border, in reference to the YPG militia, which controls several territories in northern Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Turkey against any hint of “invasion” of Syria.
“If it turned out that the Turkish military operation had to take another scope than an action to fight against a terrorist potential threatening the Turkish border and if it becomes an invasion operation, at that moment, this operation poses a real problem for us”, warned President Macron, who was quoted in an article posted Wednesday by the French daily Le Figaro.
The head of the Turkish diplomacy also denounced the “hypocrisy” of European countries which show their support for Turkey in bilateral discussions and then change their speech in public.
“We are not France, which has invaded Algeria,” he added. “Countries like France, on these subjects, have no lessons to give us”.
In a first reaction on Wednesday to Mr Macron’s statements, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the idea of a possible “invasion” of Syria by Turkey was “fundamentally flawed”.