Erdoğan tells Zana to ‘head to the mountain’

Erdoğan tells Zana to ‘head to the mountain’
Erdoğan tells Zana to ‘head to the mountain’

AFP photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly criticized independent deputy Leyla Zana, who earlier said weapons were Kurds' “insurance policies,” by telling her to join the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Zana should leave the "democratic" Parliament and “head to the mountain” – a euphemism for joining the PKK – if she was not in favor of laying down arms, Erdoğan said during a speech at his party's group meeting.  

The prime minister also criticized Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş for his words that the chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel did not even have the importance of a corporal in the eyes of the BDP. 

"The terrorist organization that you serve would not let you herd 10 sheep, let alone be a corporal in the Turkish Armed Forces," Erdoğan told Demirtaş.  

Erdoğan also said the BDP was trying to take advantage of last month’s "painful" incident in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district, in which 35 civilians were killed in a botched air raid after being mistaken for members of the PKK. 

Erdoğan said BDP members had placed PKK banners on the coffins of those who were killed in the raid and accused the party of trying to incite Kurdish people in the wake of the tragic event.  

The prime minister said the BDP should “know its place” and added that the BDP saw imprisoned PKK head Abdullah Öcalan as their leader.  

"Let me remind you of the names that Apo [Öcalan] calls [the BDP members],” Erdoğan said. “Charlatan, showman, traitor, gullible, crazy. These are words that that Apo calls them.”

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.