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    Turkish ruling party blasts Australia's killing Afghans

09:20 25 November 2020 Author :  

The spokesman of Turkey's ruling party on Tuesday "strongly" condemned the massacre of innocent Afghans by Australian soldiers.

"It was revealed that senior Australian commandos had new soldiers openly massacre innocent people in Afghanistan in order to get them used to killing. We strongly condemn this," Omer Celik told reporters in the capital Ankara.

"We say that firm steps must be taken and necessary penalties must be imposed on this issue," he said.

Celik also protested an unlawful search of a Turkish-flagged cargo vessel carrying humanitarian aid to Libya on Sunday by a German frigate in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We strongly protest the search carried out on our ship by the German warship as part of Operation Irini operated by the EU," he said.

He said Turkey supported the legitimate government in Libya and that it was not the Turkish side that breached the arms embargo on the war-torn North African country.

Celik underlined that Operation Irini was launched without consulting NATO and that its neutrality was already questionable, adding that the search on the Turkish ship without Ankara's consent further compromised this neutrality.

He went on to urge the EU to end Operation Irini.

Under the operation, a German frigate on Sunday illegally stopped and searched a private Turkish-flagged ship carrying humanitarian aid to Libya, drawing condemnations from Turkish leaders.

Turkey has long stated that that the arms embargo is enforced in a manner biased to warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The Turkish ship was only carrying paint, paint materials, and humanitarian aid to Libya's port of Misrata, and did not violate the UN arms embargo on the country, said Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

The operation officially announced that their search of the ship had turned up nothing illegal.

Closed Maras

On the reopening of the formerly abandoned town of Maras in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Celik said the Greek Cypriot administration did not acknowledge the TRNC as their equals despite successive talks to resolve the dispute on the island.

The abandoned town of Maras in Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta, partially reopened for public use on Oct. 8.

On June 18, 2019, the TRNC launched efforts to open Maras, which has been closed since 1974, and have an expert team conduct inventory surveys in the town, which began the following month.

Cyprus has been divided into the TRNC in the north, and Greek Cypriot administration in the south, since a 1974 military coup aiming to annex Cyprus to Greece.

Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power in 1974 put an end to years of persecution and violence against Turkish Cypriots by ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots.

US ties

Responding to criticism towards Ankara on its ownership of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, Celik noted that Turkey had attempted to purchase Patriot missile systems from its allies, but they did not sell the hardware.

He added that Turkey could still buy Patriots.

Celik also said US President-elect Joe Biden must be urged to stop supporting the PYD/PKK terrorist organization as had been done during the administration of Donald Trump.

"Our greatest expectation from the new administration [...] is taking back the weapons that were given the PYD/PKK terrorist organization and treating them as real terrorists, not providing them with arms from now on," he said in response to criticism by an opposition party on the country's foreign policy.

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

Islamophobia

Celik, expressed concern on rising Islamophobia in France, stressing that Ankara was closely following the developments on the new legislation in the country.

"We observe that an attitude that provokes racism and hate crimes, and targets innocent people only because of their Muslim identities or being migrants has been adopted," he said.

He added that he "strongly condemned" actions particularly targeting Turkish missions and citizens in France that have been ignored by authorities.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron accused French Muslims of "separatism," and described Islam as a "religion in crisis."

Macron's attitude against Islam, the republication of caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad and their projection on buildings have triggered boycotts of French products in several countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine and Morocco./aa

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