Turkish PM spurns French terrorist mediation offer

Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA: Turkey’s prime minister on Saturday underlined Ankara’s rejection of a French offer to mediate between Turkey and terrorist groups in Syria.

Speaking at a hospital opening in the Aegean Izmir province, Binali Yildirim said of French President Emmanuel Macron, who proposed the mediation:

“Who gave you this authority, who gave you this mission?”

If France’s president wants to referee between terror groups he can do this, but not with Turkey, said Yildirim.

He added: “Turkey doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, doesn’t shake hands, but roots them out,” he said.

Meeting with a terrorist PYD/PKK-led SDF delegation on Thursday at the Elysee Palace, Macron claimed “a dialogue could be established between the SDF and Turkey with the assistance of France and the international community.”

He further claimed that the SDF had “no operational link with this terrorist group,” meaning the PKK.

However, as Turkey has documented, the PYD/PKK and SDF are actually the Syrian branches of the terrorist PKK, recognized by Turkey, France, and the EU as a terrorist group.

In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives.

Ankara has warned against international actors cooperating with such groups as the PYD/PKK, YPG/PKK, and SDF/PKK, as they are just the PKK under different names.

In its ongoing Operation Olive Branch, Turkey has targeted PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists in Afrin, Syria, just across Turkey’s southern border.

Turning to health care, Yildirim also said that starting next year Turkey will begin producing vaccines for diseases like tetanus and diphtheria.

“Our steps in the medical sector will save us 6 billion liras [$1.5 billion],” he added.

Yildirim said as part of their localization project, they will produce 80 percent of the medicines consumed in Turkey.

He said that in the last 15 years, under the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, they increased the bed capacity of healthcare facilities from 18,000 to 108,000 and  boosted the numbers of emergency care facilities. (AA)