‘Build a wall against the PKK,’ Erdoğan says
VAN - Doğan News Agency
PM Erdoğan visit a school , which is named after his mother in Van. At least 3 billion Turkish Liras were spent in Van after the quake, PM Erdoğan says. AA photoAt a ceremony to hand over nearly 16,000 houses in the eastern province of Van yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on the crowd to erect a psychological wall between themselves and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Speaking on the first anniversary of the Van earthquake, which killed 644 people and left tens of thousands of others homeless, Erdoğan said the outlawed organization aimed only “to exploit” citizens.
“We come here to serve, they come to burn. [The PKK] is only after using the children they tricked into going up to the mountains. Why won’t investors come to the east? They’re afraid terrorism will burn [their investments]. That’s the cause behind unemployment [in the area],” Erdoğan said.
PKK burns school
Erdoğan’s remarks came hours after suspected members of the PKK burned an elementary school building in Van’s Sugeçer village with a molotov cocktail attack. The attackers threw a molotov cocktail at the school and wrote “fair education or none” on its walls. The principal’s room and two classrooms were damaged beyond use due to a fire that ensued. “We built schools for our children they come to burn them. They have nothing to do with my Kurdish brothers and sisters’ problems,” Erdoğan said. “We will not give credit to the ones who promote discrimination, but we will love people for God.”
Erdoğan’s speech was also heavy with criticism against the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which he blamed for “embracing the terrorists.”
According to Erdoğan, PKK militants attacked Turkish forces who were attempting to tend to the wounds of quake victims immediately following the tremble.
“What did the terrorist organization do meanwhile? Before the end of moaning quake victims’ they were busy attacking the security forces,” Erdoğan said.
“They killed a police officer by shooting him in his back. We were there to attend to the damage from the quake, but they were there for blood.”
Erdoğan visited the Erciş district of Van to hand over 4,800 houses yesterday morning. Some six choppers then carried Erdoğan and 10 ministers of his Cabinet to Van’s city center to deliver another 8,000 houses to their owners.