Europe is only pretending to fight against terrorism: Erdoğan
European countries are providing shelter to terror organizations and tolerating terrorist activities in their territories instead of combating them, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed, particularly citing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) presence in Germany and Austria.
“They are wandering around the streets of Berlin. They are wandering around Paris, wandering around Austria. In the European Union, the [PKK] is supposedly not welcome because it is regarded as a terrorist organization. If so, how come they can freely walk around? How can they walk around with a police escort?” Erdoğan said on Nov. 9 in a speech at the presidential palace in Ankara addressing local neighborhood heads (muhtars).
Ankara has long criticized certain European countries for allegedly not countering PKK activities, including public rallies and fundraising meetings. Relations have also been shaken since the July 2016 coup attempt, as many pro-coup soldiers have applied for asylum in European countries.
Although the EU recognizes the PKK as a terror organization, it does not take necessary measures against the terrorists, Erdoğan said, describing statements from Brussels and member countries on the issue as “just a story.”
“Europe is aiding the PKK. They are only pretending to fight it,” he claimed.
“Why do they put the posters of the leader of the separatist organization on their state buildings?” Erdoğan asked, referring to jailed PKK head Abdullah Öcalan.
‘Opposition is acting with FETÖ’
The president also blasted the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in its criticisms of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), saying its actions only serve the aims of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“Since the July 15, 2016 [coup attempt] they are using all the same arguments, allegations and defamations that FETÖ has used in the international arena,” Erdoğan said, accusing the CHP of becoming a “mouthpiece of a terrorist organization.”
“Should we take the words that this party says into consideration? Should we find them valuable to talk about? We can have nothing to do with those who are waging war against the values of our nation,” he added.