Germany “does not accept” Turkey’s occupation of Afrin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday condemned the Turkish capture of the Syrian town of Afrin, Voice of America said.

“We do not accept what has happened in Afrin and thousands of civilians being forced to flee, despite Turkey’s legitimate security interests,” Merkel said.

“We condemn this in the strongest terms.”

This was Merkel’s first public mention of Afrin and came in a wide-ranging speech that touched upon the polarisation of German society and Islam’s place in it.

She said Western politicians had been watching the Syrian crisis from the sidelines for too long, and that they had not taken the refugee exodus from the country, including 3 million who migrated to Turkey, seriously enough.

“I know that many are against this agreement,” Merkel said, in reference to the European Union’s refugee agreement with Turkey. “But I will continue to defend it, because this agreement prevents the death of humans in the Aegean and the unscrupulousness of human trafficking.”