Kurds in Turkey need no other state, says Erdoğan
The Turkish state also belongs to Kurds in the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at an election rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 3.
“We don’t say ‘there are no Kurds,’ we say ‘there is no Kurdish problem.’ No one should be searching for a state for [Turkey’s] Kurds. The state of the Republic of Turkey is the state of all of us. Kurds’ state is the state of the Republic of Turkey,” Erdoğan added.
He argued that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has saved “Kurdish people from the despotic old regime’s oppression,” saying “we have secured your freedoms.”
“Our Kurdish brothers and sisters are under protection of the state of Turkish Republic. Of course there is a right to voice different political demands. But it has to be done within legitimate boundaries. What is binding for me as a president is also binding for everybody. This state will not allow those who are trying to undermine the law,” Erdoğan said.
The AKP is “fighting against regimes of exploitation,” in military operations in Iraq and Syria,” he added.
“We are against those who make our people fight each other by using terrorist organizations. Those who used to use the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] in the past are now praising [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ. Their target is not Turks or Kurds, their target is the values that we all represent together,” Erdoğan said.
The president also blasted calls for the release of Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), from Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who visited Demirtaş in prison at the start of campaigning for the June 24 snap election.
“They visit Edirne [prison] like a cemetery. What will you get out of those visits? Come visit your people here,” Erdoğan said.