Türkiye to establish joint operations center with Iraq: Turkish defense minister - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye to establish joint operations center with Iraq: Turkish defense minister

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Yasar Guler stresses Türkiye’s resilience in face of terrorism

Türkiye’s national defense minister said Wednesday that his country looks forward to future collaboration with Iraq, including the establishment of a joint operations center.

Yasar Guler said that during his visit to Baghdad, the Iraqi government took the significant step of officially banning the PKK and recognizing it as a terrorist organization for the first time.

“When we went to Baghdad, the Iraqi government both banned it and for the first time acknowledged that it is a terrorist organization. After this, we will have joint work. We will establish a joint operations center,” Guler said during a visit to Kahramanmaras province in southern Türkiye, where he paid a visit to Kahramanmaras Governor Mukerrem Unluer.

Guler said terrorism is the scourge of Türkiye, highlighting it as a major challenge for the country, and emphasized the nation’s resilience.

“But we live in the most expensive land in the world. There will be a price for this. This is a great price we are paying. On one side, we live in a country surrounded by seas. You can experience all four seasons at the same time. God has given everything. We have all kinds of minerals. We have human resources. Of course, this bothers everyone. Plus, our country’s rapid development and growth in recent years, especially in the last 20 years, disturbs everyone around us,” he said.

He also emphasized that some segments disturbed by Türkiye’s rapid growth use terrorist organizations to hinder this situation and that the country must always be strong.

Regarding the PKK conflict spanning four decades, Guler expressed disappointment in the Iraqi government’s historical reluctance to recognize and ban the PKK.

“We have been fighting the PKK terrorist organization for 40 years. But unfortunately, for 40 years, the Iraqi government could not call them a terrorist organization or ban them. Such an organization lives in their own country and they do not feel any discomfort,” he said.

“We had a meeting in Ankara in December. Of course, this issue was emphasized very much in that meeting, and when we went to Iraq during our last trip to Baghdad, the Iraqi administration accepted and declared for the first time that the PKK is a terrorist organization. Of course, this is a pleasing thing for us.”

Guler also cited the positive stance of the administration in Erbil but emphasized that efforts extend beyond combating terrorism.

“There will be new commissions established regarding energy, agriculture, animal husbandry, water affairs and similar areas, and we will continue our efforts to achieve progress in all these areas through mutual cooperation,” he said.

He also highlighted the significance of the Development Road project linking the Persian Gulf to Europe via Türkiye.

“This is the most important task for Türkiye’s future. In this project, all Turkish companies will preferentially do business there. Alongside four highways and four railways, all goods coming from China will be transported to Europe via the Development Road.”

Guler also expressed optimism about the impact of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) facility opening in Kahramanmaras, suggesting that it would expand opportunities for young people and contribute positively to the growth of the next generation.

He also expressed hope that a future astronaut might emerge from Kahramanmaras.

Source: AA / Writing by Gizem Nisa Cebi in Istanbul

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