Belgium voices solidarity with Turkey following Erdoğan’s PKK rebuke
DHA photoBelgium has swiftly underlined its solidarity with Turkey against terrorism, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the EU of hypocrisy over migrants, human rights and terrorism as a few dozen supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) set up protest tents near the EU summit center in Brussels.
“Turkish media and officials have referred to a tent set up by Kurdish activists in Brussels on March 17,” the Belgian embassy in Ankara said in a written statement released on March 18, a few hours after Erdoğan’s remarks delivered in a speech in the western province of Çanakkale, where he attended ceremonies to mark Martyrs’ Day and the commemoration of the Gallipoli naval victory during World War I.
Erdoğan took aim at Belgium in particular for allowing the PKK to erect a tent behind the EU building in Brussels, where talks between European Union leaders and Turkey intended to halt illegal migration flows to Europe in return for financial and political rewards for Ankara were held.
“The embassy wishes to clarify that prior to this action, authorization was requested and obtained from the municipal authorities. Belgian law enforcement has intervened to ensure that Belgian law is fully respected and continues to monitor the situation,” the Belgian embassy said.
“There cannot be any doubt that the Belgian government is determined to fight terrorism in all forms and manifestations, while respecting the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. The Belgian government is equally determined to continue its counter-terrorism cooperation with the government of Turkey, as was discussed and agreed at the trilateral ministerial meeting that took place in Ankara last March 9,” it said. “The Belgian government and this embassy reiterate their forceful condemnation of [the] recent terrorist attacks in Ankara as well as their solidarity with the relatives and friends of all victims,” the embassy concluded.
The Belgian government allowed supporters of the PKK to pitch tents before the Turkey-EU summit in Brussels near the EU council building, Erdoğan said.
“These [countries] are not honest, not sincere and they are acing ambivalently,” Erdoğan said. “Whom are you deceiving? Be honest, be sincere. There is no Turkey or Turkish nation who will be deceived. The name of this is surrendering to terror. These [countries] surrendered to terror.”