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POLITICS > Keep Kurdish issue, terror separate: Gül

ISTANBUL / ANKARA

President Gül calls on Turkey to separate the Kurdish issue from terrorism while asking Kurds to distance themselves from militancy

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Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel (L) cries over the military funeral ceremony was held in the eastern province of Van yesterday for eight soldiers who were killed. AA photo

Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel (L) cries over the military funeral ceremony was held in the eastern province of Van yesterday for eight soldiers who were killed. AA photo

Turkish people should distinguish the Kurdish question from the terror problem, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül has said, urging Kurdish citizens to put a distance between themselves and terror, in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack killing eight troops in Hakkari.

The Turkish military has launched a massive operation in the region with the participation of 4,000 troops, to blockade nearly 300 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, of whom 26 have been neutralized, the army said.

“The problems of our people are issues we can solve by ourselves by talking, and there is progress in this matter. The Kurdish issue that we are discussing in the country is very much different from the terror problem. Terrorists are used as tools by these people today, by those people tomorrow. They were the tools of somebody else yesterday,” Gül told reporters in Istanbul, a day after outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) killed eight troops in Dağlıca province of Hakkari on the Iraqi border.
Gül’s statement came after Dağlıca attack sparked fresh debate over how to handle the Kurdish problem, either through dialogue and politics or by intensifying military options. “All of my citizens in the region, my Kurdish citizens should put a distance between themselves and terror, terrorists,” he stated.

No compromise

Recalling that the country would never give compromises to terror, Gül said Tuesday’s attack was not accidental, given the developments in the region. In a statement posted on its website late Wednesday, the Chief of General Staff announced that 26 terrorists were killed and one was caught alive as a result of military’s operations in the region.

Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz also confirmed that operations have been carried out, speaking to reporters yesterday. Underlining that the PKK had suffered many casualties during the operations, he said, “The place where the attack took place is very close to Iraqi border. They are coming from Iraq and returning to Iraq after the attack. This attack has proved that the terror organization will not be successful. They will face more casualties in future attacks.”

Also speaking to media, deputy PMBülent Arınç said the issue would be analyzed in-depth in the upcoming National Security Council (MGK) meeting, slated for June 28, and that senior government and military officials had already reviewed the situation in a meeting held Tuesday. “The intelligence reports and information we have gathered indicate that the terror organization will continue its attacks, including assassinations against individuals,” Arınç said.

June/21/2012

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Diederik Den Ouden

6/21/2012 11:04:36 PM

Tinaz, ofcourse they are law abiding citizens! Although, you subdivide them in good people and terrorists. The vast majority of the Turkish democratic votes in the Kurdish populated area's are for the BDP and not AKP. You also neglect the fact why these people fight. My point is; you tag the PKK as not being a part of the Turkish society. In fact they are, and they are your partner in peace!

S. Tinaz

6/21/2012 8:29:07 PM

Turks want from their president and other elected officials to make life in Turkey pleasant for every one and everyone's wishes for themselves and the whole nation are pretty alike.Security,good jobs+income,good health care, good education, same appotunities for women and men, clean cities, saving our enviroment-clean air and water, are pretty much the things what people want.But if any group plays good cup - bad cup and think they can separate our nation, they would be barking up a wrong tree.

GERARD SELTZER

6/21/2012 5:13:49 PM

President Gul is a great statesman. His words are mature and intelligent. Separating terrorism from the ligitimate aspirations of the Kurdish people is the correct way to proceed. Terrorists are a breed unto themselves - the wild beasts of the human species.

S. Tinaz

6/21/2012 4:06:25 PM

@Ouden.. there is nothing selfish about calling citizens of Kurdish ethnic background law abiding, of course they are, they live in every city, they have every job there is including the ones keeps them in front of every ones eyes like tv /media, there are students, there are our friends doctors bankers etc. and none of them put a bomb in any building or throw acid on people's body, shoot or knife anyone like Kurdish PKK terorist group does. And majority of them cast their vote for AKP.

dario Kurd

6/21/2012 1:56:10 PM

Kurds are not afraid of military ofense any longer..history proved Kurdish people can not be weakend by military..Turkey should stop policy of conspiracy against Kurds and start a new page based on equal citizenship..this way Kurdish demand of full education in Kurdish and autonomy should be met.

MR Somalia

6/21/2012 1:48:49 PM

Gul is the man.

DORUS LIVIS

6/21/2012 12:53:18 PM

Life level improvement and recognition of certain rights would at my opinion be much more effective than military operations

DORUS LIVIS

6/21/2012 12:51:19 PM

@S.Tinaz: there is no doubt that it is a fight against terror, however it is different than the terrorist groups in the west. It is definitely not a bunch of people who put bombs in governmental buildings or kill politicians.. Its extent and range of attacks is much more blind and bloody. I think this problem can not be solved militarily. The kurdish tank is big and will always feed PKK with new recruits...You should better try to invest heavily in that area in order to improve people's lives

Diederik Den Ouden

6/21/2012 12:44:50 PM

Tinaz, thats quite selfish to say that there are "law abiding Kurdish citizens" and leftist PKK terror gangs. There is somehow the impression that there are millions of Kurds that do not support the PKK and fight against them. The PKK has the vast majority of the Kurdish votes in Turkey by far. By neglecting the PKK (which has been for the last 40 years) and thus the Kurds there will be no peace.

sid solo

6/21/2012 12:09:55 PM

Is it just me or are there others out there? This is a "deja vu" moment. That there is an issue in the southeast of Turkey is not new. That our responsible authorities don't seem to be able to learn from past mistakes and develop precautionary methods to protect those border positions better, now that is a misery. Let's start asking: Are all military personnel trained appropriately and supplied with a bullet-proof vest? What's been improved since the very same position was attacked 5 years ago?
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