Reaction to the US after PKK attack; First Turkish citizen in space; Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continues mission in Gulf of Aden

Reaction to the US after PKK attack; First Turkish citizen in space; Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continues mission in Gulf of Aden

The loss of 12 soldiers in an attack by the PKK terrorist organization in northern Iraq last week was the first issue on Türkiye’s agenda.

Another development was that for the first time in history, a Turkish citizen travelled in space.

In accordance with international developments, the other issue on the agenda was the approval of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s bill extending the activities of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Gulf of Aden.

Reaction to US after PKK attack

In two different attacks organized by the PKK terrorist organization, 12 soldiers were martyred. After the attack, air-backed operations were carried out in the region and many terrorists were neutralized. Following the news of the martyrs, a security meeting was held at the Dolmabahçe Working Office under the chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In the statement released after the security meeting, it was stated that the counter-terrorism strategies were evaluated in a holistic manner, the treacherous terrorist attack organized yesterday in the Claw-Lock Operation Zone in northern Iraq and the steps taken and to be taken in the context of the fight against terrorism were discussed.

The statement noted the following: “We clearly and precisely state that the Republic of Türkiye continues its fight against the terrorist organization PKK/YPG/KCK and its supporters with determination and perseverance within the framework of its strategy of preventing and destroying threats to its survival at their source. In the operations launched after the treacherous attack, a total of 45 terrorists, 36 in northern Iraq and nine in northern Syria, were neutralized. This fight will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized and the terror swamps in Iraq and Syria are completely drained. The separatist terrorist organization, which had reached the point of extinction within our borders, suffered heavy losses as a result of our successful cross-border operations. As the terrorist organization was stuck in a corner in Syria and Iraq, attempts to revive and revitalize the organization gained momentum.”

Emphasizing that the recent terrorist acts against the troops serving outside the borders are an undercover part of the scenarios to strengthen the organization, the statement read as follows: “Türkiye will never allow the establishment of a ‘terrorland’ along its southern borders under any pretext and for any reason. Within the framework of our right to self-defence and bilateral agreements, our main priority is to permanently destroy wherever there is a terrorist threat, camp, shelter, formation or cluster, regardless of who is behind it. The separatist traitors who serve as proxies for the enemies of Türkiye are and will be held accountable for every drop of blood they shed. We are determined to disappoint both those who act as pawns in the schemes set up to prevent our goal of the Turkish Century and those who hold their strings in their hands. We wish Allah’s mercy to our Mehmetçiks – The name given by the Turkish people to Turkish soldiers- who were martyred in the treacherous terrorist attack organized yesterday in the Claw-Lock Operation zone in northern Iraq. Our condolences go out to the families and relatives of our martyrs, our Turkish Armed Forces and our beloved nation. We wish a quick recovery to our soldiers who were wounded in the attack and are still being treated.”

After the attack by the PKK terrorist organization, harsh reactions came against the US, which is known to support the organization. In his statement, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said that the fight against terrorist organizations is an indispensable condition not only for Türkiye but also “for the countries of the region to live in peace and tranquillity, in a safe and prosperous way”. Fidan went on to make the following statements and openly targeted the United States:

“As an irony of history, the PKK, an organization that the Soviet Union had the Assad regime establish in the Bekaa Valley during the Cold War, is now working in Syria in cooperation with the US and Western countries to divide Syria.”

Fidan stated that the US provides technology and military equipment support to the organization under the cover of the fight against DAESH and said, “Some European countries also support these activities of the US. Russia, on the other hand, turns a blind eye to the PKK presence west of the Euphrates, especially in Tel Rifaat and Manbij.”

Former AKP deputy Metin Külünk shared the information that American soldiers also supported the PKK attacks and said, “today we directly understand that mercenary American soldiers joined the war and the US (Pentagon-CENTCOM) started to provide every support.”

İbrahim Karagül, one of the journalists close to the AKP, wrote: “The US and Israel are the primary and biggest threat to Türkiye.”

The leader of the Vatan Party, Doğu Perinçek, made the following statements about the terrorist attack organized by the PKK; “”The new situation is also recognized by the Turkish state administrators and the Turkish Armed Forces. A security summit is being held in Dolmabahçe and commanders have left the border for Istanbul. In the coming period, we will fight against US-led terrorism in Syria and northern Iraq under conditions where the airspace will be closed by the US. This is the situation at the moment, and it seems that this will continue. The period when our UCAVs will be able to perform their missions in the skies over Syria and Iraq is behind us. We are entering a period in which our UCAVs will be targeted by the US. On October 5, our UCAV was shot down by F-16 aircraft. Our government did not explain. The US said, ‘We shot it down’. The US has not only deployed the PKK, PYD and YPG, which it calls its black power, but also private security companies. There are special forces like Blackwater. These are not mercenaries recruited from around the world, most of them have been trained in the US army. We know that units of the US armed forces are also being used in the new situation.

“The PKK does not have the capability to carry out that attack. These companies, which are part of the US military, were used in the attack. They have a high level of military training. We know that after retiring or otherwise leaving the US military, officers work for these companies. The US was carrying out a proxy war through a number of terrorist organizations. Now we have entered a period in which it is not using proxies, but its own military forces, F-16 planes, Patriot missiles and special forces.”

First Turkish citizen in space

Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3), including Türkiye’s first space astronaut Alper Gezeravcı, went into space.

Axiom Space’s ‘Ax-3’ mission to the International Space Station (ISS) includes a crew of 4 people. Gezeravcı’s crew members on the Ax-3 flight were mission leader Michael Lopez-Alegria representing the United States and Spain, pilot Walter Villadei from the Italian Air Force and Marcus Wandt from Sweden, who participated on behalf of the European Space Agency.

The rocket that took Gezeravcı into space was designed by SpaceX.  According to SpaceX’s data, Falcon 9 rockets made a total of 289 take-offs and 246 landings. The rockets were used 221 times in more than one flight. It is not known how many Falcon-9 rockets are available for reuse.

Developments on the subject are followed with curiosity in Türkiye.

TSK continues mission in Gulf of Aden

TSK will continue its mission in the Gulf of Aden for one more year. The General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye has approved the bill extending the duty period of Turkish Armed Forces naval elements in the Gulf of Aden, Somali territorial waters and the Arabian Sea for one year.

In the adopted bill, it was reminded that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions were adopted in 2008 against the acts of maritime banditry and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden, Somali territorial waters and offshore, the Arabian Sea and adjacent regions. In this context, it was reminded in the bill that with the decision of the Turkish Grand National Assembly dated February 10, 2009, a one-year permission was granted for the Turkish Armed Forces elements to serve in the mentioned region.

The authorization, which has been extended 14 times for one year to date, reads as follows: “To effectively maintain the safety of Turkish flagged and Turkish-bound commercial vessels sailing in the region by deploying naval elements of the Turkish Armed Forces, and to actively participate in the joint operations of the international community to combat maritime banditry, armed robbery and terrorism at sea, supporting humanitarian aid activities in the aforementioned regions, increasing the operational effectiveness of the naval elements of the Turkish Armed Forces and their experience in that region, supporting the national policy to continue cooperation with the relevant countries in this field, and reinforcing our role and visibility on a regional and global scale within the UN system have been ensured.”

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April 2024