16:48 GMT17 January 2021
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    NATO should make more of an effort to try to contain the terrorist threat, Aydin Unal, an MP from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Aydin Unal, member of the Turkish parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party, specifically stressed the necessity of NATO taking more steps to tackle terrorism.

    The interview came as a NATO Parliamentary Assembly opened in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where participants will discuss an array of pressing issues, including the migration crisis and the fight against terrorism.

    Aydin Unal, who is also a member of the Turkish delegation at the Assembly, told Sputnik Turkey that during the Tbilisi gathering Ankara will urge its NATO allies to support Turkey's efforts to combat terrorism and resolve migration-related issues.

    "High on the agenda will be the issues pertaining to terrorism and Syria," Unal said, referring to the deadly terrorist attack in Manchester earlier this week.

    "NATO, which should play a significant role in resolving such problems [as terrorism], shows inefficiency in the analysis and identification of sources of a terrorist threat," he pointed out.

    He added that "on the one hand, NATO declares that it is fighting terrorism, which poses a threat to world peace, but, on the other — the alliance supports terrorist organizations in northern Syria."

    "This is why NATO should work more decisively in their anti-terrorism efforts. For its part, Turkey – a country that has already seriously suffered from terrorism – voices its opinion and criticism both at NATO meetings and at [this] the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session," Unal said.

    He stressed that Turkey does not receive the necessary support from NATO and the EU in terms of fighting terrorism and dealing with Syrian refugees.

    According to him, Ankara's "relations with the West were seriously undermined when it came to the fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which is the source of terrorism."

    "We did not see support from either the West or NATO in the fight against the PKK and FETO," Unal said.

    He blamed NATO and the EU for "persistently failing to realize the fact the PKK and FETO pose a threat to the whole world."

    "The terrorist attack in Britain confirmed Ankara's stance on the matter. In this regard, NATO and the EU should turn more to Turkey's experience when it comes to the issues related to the Black Sea region, the Middle East, the situation in Syria and the fight against terrorism," he concluded.

    On Friday, Turkish media reported that at least 29 PKK members were killed during a counter-terrorist operation in Turkey's eastern Agri province led by the Turkish Gendarmerie General Command.

    The operation was reportedly launched after three trucks had been set on fire on a motorway.

    Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds increased in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK, a group outlawed in the country, collapsed over a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members.

    On July 15, 2016, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. Ankara accused Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup.

    Since July, Turkey has arrested hundreds of military personnel, activists and journalists on suspicion of having links to Gulen.

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