Prime Minister Erdoğan to Europe: Stop backing PKK terrorism

Prime Minister Erdoğan to Europe: Stop backing PKK terrorism

Erdoğan spoke at the closing session of a three-day summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process yesterday, where İstanbul hosted heads of state and government.

June 24, 2010, Thursday/ 18:18:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has strongly criticized European countries that tacitly support the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or do not take the necessary measures to prevent it from working on their soil.

Speaking before a luncheon Erdoğan hosted for the heads of delegations that participated in the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit in İstanbul yesterday, the prime minister employed a harsh discourse to criticize external support of the PKK.

He said the terrorist organization’s activities that target innocent civilians as well as security forces in Turkey equally threaten the people of the Balkans and the rest of Europe, too.

“Certain European countries have long refrained from lending the required support to Turkey in its fight against terrorism. Despite all the suffering and bloody attacks on civilians and security forces, there are still countries that have not ceased to financially support the PKK, turning a blind eye to its activities and propaganda. These countries fail to extradite [PKK] criminals to Turkey and do not fight crime,” he said.

He noted that Turkey has been fighting against the terrorist group, based in northern Iraq, for the past 26 years. Erdoğan added that the PKK recently intensified its attacks to destabilize Turkey and to destroy societal peace in the country but that it is bound to fail and that it will not reach its goal.

“When it understands that it cannot win this war, it goes down the path it knows very well and harms civilians and security forces while also explicitly sending its own men to certain death,” Erdoğan said, stressing that the terrorist group does not serve its self-proclaimed aim and does not heed the interests of people in southeastern Turkey for whom it says it fights.

Erdoğan was particularly harsh in his criticism of European countries which, he said, back the terrorist group.

“On this occasion, I would like to note that the terrorist organization poses as serious a threat to people living in the Balkans and European countries as it does in Turkey, where it targets innocent civilians and security forces. The PKK, a terrorist organization involved in organized crime, targets the youth of countries in the Balkans and Europe and poisons them with drugs,” he said.

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