Gülenists, PKK attacking Turkey’s resources, President Erdoğan says

Gülenists, PKK attacking Turkey’s resources, President Erdoğan says

Gülenists, PKK attacking Turkey’s resources, President Erdoğan says

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The outlawed Kurdistan Peoples’ Party (PKK) and the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been engaged in a systematic campaign to attack Turkey’s resources and interests for years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a speech in the Black Sea province of Karabük on March 27.

“We see that there are some groups who turn their backs on this people. There are some who try to hinder our goals for 2023. Two different structures that use similar resources have been attacking Turkey’s gains for the past 12 years. One [the PKK] uses arms while the other [Gülen supporters] uses sneaky ways to infiltrate the state and exploit people’s emotions. Their aim is to stop Turkey from reaching its goals,” Erdoğan said.

Addressing criticism that he is not fulfilling his constitutional role as an impartial president, he also vowed to continue to intervene in the fight against the “parallel state,” a term that he and the government use to refer to the Gülen movement, if he “sees any problem.”

“I am one of those engaging in the greatest struggle against the parallel structure. If I see any problem in this [fight], then I will intervene as much as I can,” said Erdoğan.

He also reiterated his wish to introduce the presidential system to Turkey.

“The presidential system should not be delayed for a new Turkey,” Erdoğan said, rejecting claims that this would turn Turkey into a “dictatorship.”

The presidential system will allow the country to make more progress concerning rights and freedoms, and will use its energy and time to better achieve its goals, he also claimed.

Erdoğan also slammed the PKK’s reluctance to lay down arms as part of the peace process.

“There cannot be a solution process with arms still around. If you are sincere, lay down your arms,” he said. Criticizing the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) combative recent stance on the ongoing Kurdish peace process, Erdoğan said “it is not democratic [for the HDP] to use arms as a threat ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections.”