‘Parallel’ officers may be reason for heavy casualties in southeast: Erdoğan
Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
AA photoThe reason behind the rise in the number of killed security forces in Turkey’s southeast may be due to problems in intelligence sharing caused by police and security officers sympathetic to the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told MPs on March 24.
Turkey is carrying out widespread operations against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the southeast of the country, and there has been a rise in recent months in the number of casualties amid intensified clashes and new techniques used by the militants.
Hosting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members of parliament’s foreign, EU, and constitution writing commissions at a regular breakfast session, President Erdoğan pointed the finger at the what the government calls the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)/Parallel State Structure (PDY),” which he claims is an armed terror group.
“The reason behind the recent rise in the number of martyrs is the police officers and soldiers that are close to the ‘parallel’ establishment [FETÖ/PDY]. There may be intelligence weaknesses, and the reason for this is the members of this establishment. They cause problems in intelligence sharing, they mislead. Therefore the fight against ‘parallels’ is essential ... If there are problems in the fight against terror, we must do what is necessary about who causes it [the problem],” he reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan also addressed controversial “gentrification” projects planned for areas ruined by fighting in the southeast, which is planned to start upon the conclusion of the operations. He reportedly warned MPs to be “careful” when making statements about the future of these projects, as nothing was clear and they would take a long time.