The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), whose militants attacked a dormitory accommodating students of a religious vocational high school on Friday, were trying to burn alive the sons of Kurdish families in the region so that they wouldn't be brought up as Muslims, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.
Erdoğan shared his evaluation of the violent attack on the dorm in Şırnak's Cizre district on Friday night, during which PKK militants threw Molotov cocktails at a dormitory hosting students of a local imam-hatip school, setting the building ablaze. Three of the students, around the age of 13, were severely injured, suffering from first degree burns.
On Saturday Erdoğan spoke about the Cizre incident to journalists aboard a plane on his way to Ankara from Eskişehir, where he had been holding an election rally the same day, stating, “They [the PKK] are burning the kids of none other than Kurds just so that they will not be brought up as Muslims.” He also said that the PKK was doing its best to continue violent attacks in an attempt to intimidate the region's people from voting for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). “They wanted to kill kids of 13 and 14 years of age. Unfortunately, there were some who were severely burned. We flew one to Ankara in an air ambulance,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also talked about another PKK attack in İstanbul's Etiler district last Thursday, in which one victim lost her leg. “Eight people were hurt. Unfortunately, they had to amputate the leg of one lady there.” He also said AK Party offices, particularly in the East and the Southeast, had received their own share of attacks by the terrorist group.
He accused the former head of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, of engaging in politics in the shadow of terror. “He claims that I said ‘One religion, one language.' I have never said anything like this anywhere. When we set out on this path, we announced that we would never engage in politics based on religion. We also said that everyone has the right to their own mother tongue. But we did say, ‘Under one flag'.”
He said the BDP, which the government and other political parties commonly accuse of being tied to the PKK, an accusation the BDP denies, was not representative of the Kurdish community. “All they want to do is exploit [the situation]. Supporting [the BDP] is tantamount to supporting terror.”
In related developments, Erdoğan spoke to the Samanyolu TV station on Sunday night, sharing the results of the recent polls conducted by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Erdoğan said according to the results, the AK Party was likely to get between 45 to 50 percent of the vote, the Republican People's Party (CHP) between 25 to 30 percent and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) between 10 to 12 percent.
On Monday, Erdoğan spoke at an election rally in İstanbul's Ümraniye district, where he criticized the CHP leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. He called on voters to teach Kılıçdaroğlu a lesson at the ballot box on June 12. He criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for his party's attempts to block graduates of imam-hatip high-schools from entering the university examination under equal circumstances. Currently, university test scores of graduates of imam-hatip and other vocational high schools are calculated using a method which puts them at a disadvantage. “Get your hands off the imam-hatip high schools,” Erdoğan told the rally crowd, addressing Kılıçdaroğlu.