By: ILNUR ÇEVIK*
Turkey finally sent its tanks to northern Syria after hammering DAESH targets with its jet fighters and artillery, showing the whole world that it will not stand idly by while its vital interests are being violated continuously and systematically at its southeastern borders.Two terrorist organizations, DAESH and the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), have been wreaking havoc on our southeastern border regions. They have been involved in recent terrorist attacks in Turkey killing scores of people and wounding hundreds.
DAESH has become a major security hazard for Turkey. They use Syrian territory to shell our towns and terrorize our people. They send suicide bombers into Turkey.
The PYD supported by the United States has provided logistic support, manpower and arms to the PKK.
The PYD has been exploiting its supposed fight against DAESH and has been consolidating and expanding its territorial gains near our border areas thus creating a new PKK-inspired threat against Turkey. The U.S. said it will not permit this and yet we see that these promises have remained up in the air. The PYD was supposed to help push DAESH out of Manbij and then turn over the town to the Free Syrian Forces and return back to the areas east of the Euphrates. This did not happen.
So Turkey decided to take matters into its own hands and show to friends and foes that coup attempt or no coup attempt it remains as strong as ever and will not allow anyone (even if they are supported by Washington) to hurt its security and vital interests.
First neither DAESH nor the PYD will be allowed to toy with Turkey anymore. PYD leader Salih Muslim has said by entering Syria Turkey has entered a swamp. If Muslim was sincere in his fight against DAESH he would have been only too happy for Turkish forces to battle DAESH. Yet he never had any intention of fighting DAESH in earnest. Now everyone should see this.
Turkey has no intention of invading any foreign territory. What we want is security at our borders and the elimination of all threats from DAESH, the PKK and the PYD.
Secondly Turkey has shown that it does not want the PYD in Manbij and Turkey will get what it wants. This is a clear message to the U.S. as Vice President Joes Biden visits Ankara flashing us with his false Hollywood smile.
The third fact is that those who felt the Turkish Armed Forces had been weakened by the failed coup attempt will now see that Turkey’s military is alive and kicking. This is also the reply from the Turkish military to those in the U.S. and elsewhere who tried to use some elements in the military to stage a coup with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and failed.
*İLNUR ÇEVIK is a Turkish columnist. He writes for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper.
(Published in Daily Sabah on Thursday, August 25, 2016)