Turkish minister expects no operations on withdrawing PKK militants
MERSİN – Anatolia News Agency
Turkey's Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı speaks at a conference. AA photoCustoms and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı said on April 25 that he did not expect any military operations in the process of withdrawal of PKK militants.
While commenting on the ongoing peace process at the local base of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the southern province of Mersin, as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced the date of withdrawal from Turkish soil, Yazıcı said security forces were on duty to prevent actions threatening the lives of Turkish citizens. “But nobody would say anything to those who vow not to kill anymore, [we will only say] ‘leave’,” he said.
“We have made great progress in democratization. Today everyone can say things that were banned before. We did not do this to stop the terrorism. The restrictions [on people] were against human nature. We removed these and will continue to do this,” said Yazıcı.
“We have big goals. We aim to have a turkey without terrorism,” he added.
The minister’s remarks came after Murat Karayılan, a senior militant leader, announced that the PKK would begin withdrawing from Turkish soil on May 8, at the group’s base in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq on April 25.