Gov’t reviews fight against terrorism, calling for unity
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Top military and civilian officials gathered yesterday to discuss the ongoing fight against terrorism, in the wake of recent rise in terrorist acts by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including the kidnapping of an opposition lawmaker. Calling on all political parties to stand united and not to exploit terrorist acts for domestic political gains, the government vowed to continue combating terrorists until they are all eliminated.
“Terrorism should be dropped from the political parties’ agendas as an issue for political competition,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters late Wednesday. Calling on those who have ideas as to how the problem could be solved to discuss them with the government, Bozdağ said, “Politicians should speak with a common voice against terrorism, just as the people do, but we are not there yet. A non-partisan approach is needed.”
Bozdağ’s words came amid an ongoing quarrel between political parties over the abduction of Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün by the PKK. Aygün was freed 48 hours later. The PKK’s kidnapping a lawmaker, a first in its three-decade-long struggle, followed a massive campaign by the organization in Şemdinli, Hakkari Province, aimed at establishing its control of the area and challenging the authority of the state and Parliament.
Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan briefed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday, and this briefing was followed by Thursday’s security meeting under the leadership of Atalay. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru, Fidan, Vice Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Gendarmerie Forces Commander Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu attended to three-hour long meeting. No statement was released following the meeting.
There are reports that the PKK will continue to increase its violent attacks against military elements as well as civilian representatives of government, possibly to include the kidnappings of senior local governors. The Turkish government has suggested connection between the rise in terrorist acts inside Turkey and its engagement against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, implying a revival of support from Damascus to the PKK.
“Domestic and foreign supporters of terrorism and the terrorist organization should be aware that they will never achieve their goals. They will never get results whatever sort of acts they commit. Terrorism will absolutely be eliminated and the fight against terrorism will continue to this end,” Bozdağ said.
Speaking about the CHP’s recent appeal to convene Parliament to discuss terrorism, Bozdağ said the Parliament will of course come together to talk about terrorism, but it will occur in response to the people’s will, not the terrorists’.