No step back after PKK raids, says Turkish PM
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan adresses the members of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) at the union’s general assembly held in Ankara yesterday. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that the recent attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) against his Justice and Development Party (AKP) members aim to draw them away from Turkey’s southeast region, but added that his party will not step back.
Speaking at Ankara Esenboğa Airport before flying to Pakistan, Erdoğan said those who cannot beat the AKP in elections are trying to oppress the will of citizens of Kurdish origin by kidnapping or killing AKP officials and to intimidate other members of the party of Kurdish origin.
“It is meaningful, these attacks are against the AKP but not against the other parties,” he said. “This clearly shows which party fights against terrorism, or the level of struggle the ruling party puts on.”
On May 14, members of the PKK kidnapped the AKP’s district chairman for the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Kulp district. The PKK still holds chairman Veysel Çelik captive and Erdoğan said they are closely monitoring the developments. Also, the ruling party’s deputy provincial head in the southeastern province of Şırnak was murdered on May 17 by unidentified people in front of his house.
The latest attack came on May 19 when the PKK kidnapped a village head and five village guards in the southeastern province of Bitlis. The PKK said yesterday that the kidnapped guards and village head had been “arrested,” according to the report of Europe-based Fırat news agency, known for its close ties with the PKK.
According to the agency’s report, the PKK also said, “The guards were involved in the crimes against the militants.”
Meanwhile, a PKK member was killed and a village guard was wounded in clashes between the militants and the security forces near Bitlis yesterday. The injured village guard was hospitalized.
Earlier yesterday, Erdoğan blamed the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for the terror, without using the party’s name. “Some people opened a subcontracted office at Qandil Mountain, they are selling blood there,” he said at the general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). “Not only specific people are there but also countries which have hostile attitudes against Turkey are going there for blood deals. Why would the owners of that office close it when it’s so profitable?”
Erdoğan also said some deputies of Turkey were visiting the people in the mountains and promoting their activities. “They are silent about drug trafficking, rapes and abuses but without any shame they show the bluntness to back PKK members to stay on the mountains.”