Opposition involved in protests against Kurdish deputies: Turkish PM
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Feb 19. REUTERS/Ümit BektaşGroups linked to Turkey’s opposition parties were involved in the Feb. 18 protests against the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies while they were visiting Black Sea province of Sinop, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today during a party meeting.
“Groups made up of the CHP [Republican People’s Party] and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] are involved there in the provocation,” Erdoğan said. “Now they speak of good wishes and ask the people not to let such things happen. Whether you like them or not, they are deputies of the people. You have to respect a deputy of this country,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan accused both the BDP and the MHP of following racist rhetoric, and the CHP of being unclear in its messages. He then targeted the opposition for previous criticism against his government regarding the recent İmralı meetings with the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan.
“We do not sit at the table with terrorism,” Erdoğan said. “We do not negotiate with terrorism. For state officials to meet with the terrorist head is not negotiation, it’s not sitting down with him. It’s taking an opportunity that is present in the solution process. Why would anyone be bothered by this?”
Erdoğan challenged opposition members to voice their criticisms directly, especially on accusations of compromises made by the state in the process, saying he “would never compromise with terrorism.”
“We will take all legal and legitimate steps to stop the bleeding,” Erdoğan said.
IMF debt to be paid by May: PM
All of Turkey’s debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be
paid by this May, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said
The debt, rounding up to 23.5 billion dollars when the AKP came to power, is now down to 400 million dollars, Erdoğan said, adding that one final payment in May would bring an end to the debt.
Turkey is also currently in meetings to lend the organization around five billion dollars, Erdoğan said, which will end the country’s decade-long status of indebtedness to the IMF.