16 Turkish civil society, business groups endorse Afrin operation

Seven trade unions and nine business associations have signed a joint declaration in support of Turkey’s military operation in the Kurdish-held Syrian district of Afrin, pro-government newspaper Milliyet said.

“Operation Olive Branch has begun within the context of legitimate self defence in universal law, U.N. General Assembly decisions on the fight against terror and the U.N. charter,” the declaration read.

“Everyone must now see this: that they cannot expect us to remain silent against terrorist groups that kill innocent people and pose a clear threat to our nation’s security.”

The statement called on the international community to support Turkey’s fight against terror and on all citizens to avoid fake news and provocation on social media.

“Those living in this region are our neighbours and our brothers,” the statement said. “No-one can wipe out the laws of brotherhood and neighbourliness among us, as members of the same civilisation, culture, and beliefs.”

The Istanbul Bar Association tweeted in favour of the operation on Monday.

“With our indivisible unity, we are in Afrin for the territorial integrity of Syria and to defeat the U.S.’s plan,” it said.

The far-left Law Bureau of the Oppressed, which opposes the operation, was unimpressed.

“You are everywhere, apart from standing beside a single lawyer!” it said.