Government strongly refutes BDP’s claim of ‘salvaged zone’
AA photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has strongly rejected claims by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who earlier this week claimed that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had established field control on nearly 400 square kilometers of territory in Turkey’s southeast.
While Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly described Demirtaş’s statement as being “unreal claims aimed at making propaganda in favor of the PKK,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Demirtaş’s statement was “not even a claim, but a lie.”
Erdoğan’s comments on the issue were relayed to the public by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Adnan Keskin.
Erdoğan and Keskin together watched a parade at the Ankara Hippodrome as part of celebrations for the 90th Victory Day. Keskin represented the CHP as the leader of the party, as Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is currently in Cape Town, South Africa, participating in a Socialist International (SI) congress.
Sitting next to each other, the two appeared to have a feverish conversation, details of which were made public by Keskin on Friday during an interview with private news television channel NTV. “BDP co-chair Serkan Demirtaş had stated that the PKK controls 400 square kilometers, and he invited any minister to see this situation with his own eyes. I stated [while speaking with Erdoğan] that Demirtaş’s claims are extremely grave and I asked the prime minister to answer them urgently,” Keskin told NTV.
“The prime minister thanked me for bringing up the issue. He stated that the claims do not reflect reality and are aimed at making propaganda for the PKK. He indicated that according to the claims, the PKK has an ‘open land control strategy,’ meaning that the PKK controls all the land,” he added. “He indicated that the control of such large area requires a minimum of 10,000 people, but that there were only 700 terrorists in the area. He said he would answer the claims on a television program, and I believe he will make the broadcast soon.”
Keskin also said Erdoğan is planning to make a tour of the eastern and southeastern provinces in the near future. Prime Ministry officials were not available to provide information on the planned tour when approached by the Hürriyet Daily News.
Turkish daily Bugün already announced in its Friday edition that Erdoğan would make important statements during a program on the Kanaltürk news television station, late on Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister Bozdağ told reporters on Friday that Demirtaş’s claims were nothing but a lie. “Maybe it is a wishful dream that he wants the PKK terror organization to make real, but it is a grave lie,” he said.