The Turkish-Armenian Patriarchate on Monday expressed support for Turkey’s operation in Syria’s Afrin region.
“We wish the Turkish Armed Forces success in Operation Olive Branch,” the Istanbul-based Patriarchate said in a written statement.
“We pray for the end of terrorist activities and the establishment of peace and common sense in the region,” the statement added.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin later thanked the Turkish-Armenian Patriarchate for its support, Anadolu Agency reported.
“The community foundations, the Turkish-Armenian Patriarchate and the Turkish Jewish Community are standing by our army. We thank all of them,” Kalin said on his Twitter account.
Cemaat Vakıfları, Türkiye Ermenileri Patrikliği ve Türk Yahudi Toplumu ordumuzun ve devletimizin yanında. Kendilerine teşekkür ediyoruz. Bu birlik ve beraberlik ruhu en büyük gücümüzdür. @CemaatVakiflari @tyahuditoplumu @markaresayan @lakivingas pic.twitter.com/dGjmJki2sy
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) January 23, 2018
Kalin also said unity was “Turkey’s biggest strength”.
Turkey on Saturday launched an air and ground campaign into Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwestern Syria.
The Turkish operation aims to oust from Afrin a militia made up of an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 fighters affiliated with the People’s Protection Units or YPG, a Syrian Kurdish group that has controlled territory in northern Syria and proven effective in fighting the Islamic State group.
Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey.