Erdoğan hails 'Diyarbakır mothers' saying they conquered fear of PKK
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 9 said the mothers in a sit-in protest, who accuse one of Turkey’s opposition party of being a part of the recruitment of their children by the illegal PKK group, have broken down the fear against the terror group.
“Diyarbakır mothers broke down the walls of fear, and they also exposed the treacherous face of the separatist organization and its political extensions. We will visit these heroic mothers in person today and show that we are with them in their just cause,” Erdoğan said, addressing his party’s provincial heads meeting in southeaster Diyarbakır province.
Erdoğan stressed that he would also visit Diyarbakır to give an ear to the people of the province.
“Dear young people, my brothers and sisters, firstly, I find it important to clarify one point here. Today, we did not only come to the opening and a visit but also to listen to Diyarbakır. I attach great importance to your views and opinions,” he stated.
“We have never surrendered to terrorism, violence, or tyranny. We paid the price and suffered when necessary to defend the national will, but we never bowed our heads in the face of oppressors,” the president stated.
Erdoğan also called on his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members to go after those party members who started to keep a distance from the ruling party.
There may be those who “feel excluded and heartbroken” in the party, he said.
“There may be those who have moved away from the organization. Our duty is to go to their feet if necessary and bring them back to our cause. Under the roof of this party, there is room for all kinds of ideas, all kinds of thoughts and for everyone whose issue is the nation and country as long as they do not praise terrorism and violence,” he said.
“I want you in the field with the full squad. Our most important reference is the 19 years of democracy behind us. We will patiently tell our people about the services, projects and dreams we have brought to this city and the country,” Erdoğan added.
Several mothers carry on a sit-in protest in southeastern Turkey outside the provincial office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has long been accused by the government of having links with the PKK terror group.
A mother, Fevziye Çetinkaya, claimed that her 17-year-old son joined the ranks of the terror group through members of the HDP in Diyarbakır and that she started the protest on Sept. 3, 2020.
In the country’s more than 30-year terror campaign, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU - has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Erdoğan vows to end dependence on foreign defense goods
Meanwhile, on July 8 Erdoğan vowed to eliminate the nation’s dependence on foreign-made defense products.
“We will continue to increase our investments in the defense industry until we completely free our country from foreign dependence,” Erdoğan said at the opening ceremony of a maintenance hangar for A400M strategic airlifters in the capital Ankara.
Erdoğan criticized some countries for rejecting Turkey's requests to purchase weapons while supplying them to terrorists in Syria through thousands of truck and plane flights under the guise of the fight against the terror group ISIL.
“We are determined to overcome all the injustices and unlawfulnesses we encounter in the defense of our homeland by taking matters into our own hands,” Erdoğan continued.
“Our so-called friends did everything they could to weaken us in the cross-border operations we carried out to ensure the safety of our citizens,” he added, referring to Turkey’s operations into border areas of Syria and northern Iraq to pursue PKK and YPG/PKK terrorists taking shelter there.
Erdoğan stressed that the projects implemented recently by the current government are the most critical investments yet for the future of the Turkish defense industry.
Erdoğan, Zelensky discuss ties
Meanwhile, later on July 9, Erdoğan held a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the phone call, the two leaders discussed issues that will develop Turkey-Ukraine relations, Turkey's Presidency said on Twitter.
They also discussed regional developments, it added.