Erdogan signals new Syria operation and threatens TV anchor  

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has signaled new Syria operation and threatened critical FOX TV Anchorman Fatih Portakal in addressing his supporters at an election rally in the central province of Konya City.

Turkey may start a new military operation in Syria at any moment and “US President Donald Trump had given a positive response to Ankara’s operation to the east of the Euphrates, Erdogan said on Monday.

“We’re burying terrorists in their wells. We had a discussion with Mr Trump. These terrorists (Syrian Kurdish YPG militia) must leave east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. If they don’t leave this area, we know how to push them. These terrorists disturb us by establishing terror corridors through our borders. Since we are strategic partners with the USA, Washington needs to do necessary.” Erdogan said.  

“We have officially announced that we will start the operation to the east of the Euphrates. We are determined. Mr. Trump has responded positively for our operation plan. Our cross-border operation along the borderline of 500 kilometres with Syria will not harm US troops,” Erdogan added.

White House opposes to Turkish military operation

However, US broadcaster CNBC reported that the White House is opposed to Turkish troops operating east of the Euphrates River. It reported that threats from Erdogan to send troops further east had prompted a call with Trump during which “more effective coordination” between their countries’ operations in Syria. At least 2,000 U.S. troops are working alongside the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the country’s north.”

And it also reported that the Pentagon said that “unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as U.S. personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern.”

Turkish forces entered northern Syria near the town of Afrin in January 2018, but the US and Turkey have been at odds over the role of Kurdish resistance fighters in Syria.

The Turkish government claims they are merely an extension of the Kurdish separatist movement in Turkey, while the US sees them as valuable allies in the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Syria.

Anchor threatened

During his election speech, Erdoğan also took aim at popular Fox TV Anchorman Fatih Portakal, who presents Turkey’s most-watched news programmes.

“Mr Kemal Kilicdaroglu is calling people out to the street to protest against the government. Someone (Fatih Portakal) is an orange, tangerine or citrus (Portakal means Orange in Turkish) is also calling citizens to the street. This shameless person must know his place. If he does not know his limit, this nation will blow him up. They organized Gezi Protests (in 2013), they made a big noise when we wanted to transfer 10-12 trees to other park. We grabbed these protesters. We also suppressed coup plotters” Erdogan said.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party.

“Better he (Erdogan) shouldn’t say impudent and immorality,” the popular anchorman replied in answer to Erdogan’s threat from his Twitter account.

Portakal, who has over 6 million followers on Twitter criticized Erdogan for being silent on recent comments made by Erkan Tan, the anchor on the pro-government A Haber television channel. Tan had written in a newspaper column that all those who had participated in the 2013 Gezi Park protests should have their heads chopped off.

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