Turkish FM, PACE president condemn terrorism, urge easing of tensions
AP photoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Anne Brasseur, have condemned terrorism and violent extremism, stressing the need to continue combating it.
At the same time, they both emphasized the urgent need to ease tensions and maintain political stability in Turkey following a recent escalation of violence and terrorist attacks, said a statement posted on PACE’s official website following a telephone conversation between the two late on Aug. 12.
“Taking into account the situation in the region and the security threats from international terrorism that Turkey is facing, I fully understand that ensuring the safety of people should be the primary concern,” Brasseur was quoted as saying. “Turkey can count on our support, in particular as long-term security cannot be created at the expense of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Concerning the Kurdish issue, Brasseur underlined that arms should be put aside while a political solution should be found. “This is all the more important, given the current political context in Turkey and the coalition negotiations that are under way. I therefore call for restraint and extreme caution, so as not to undermine an inclusive and democratic political process,” Brasseur said after the telephone conversation.
In Ankara, Turkish diplomatic sources said Çavuşoğlu informed Brasseur about Turkey’s ongoing efforts against both fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Çavuşoğlu told Brasseur that the PKK’s terrorist attacks had wrecked the government-led resolution process aimed at ending the three-decade conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the PKK, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported late on Aug. 12, citing diplomatic sources.
Çavuşoğlu assured his counterpart that individual rights and freedoms were under legal assurance in Turkey.