PKK getting more foreign aid than ever: Deputy PM
AA photoThe outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is now getting more foreign aid than ever before, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on April 6.
“The group is receiving an amount of aid that it has not received before from outside. Such an armed, barbaric, brutal group is being portrayed as an apostle of peace to the international public,” Kurtulmuş told Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara.
The aid also involved logistics support, which enabled the PKK militants to “set up traps” against Turkish security forces, the deputy prime minister said.
“What we call as terror is not just an issue about thousands of militants we are facing. It is Turkey’s existential issue. Regarding this issue, [counter-terrorism operations] is being carried out seriously. I hope we can get an outcome. But saying ‘it will end this day or that day’ would be wrong as it would deceive public opinion,” said Kurtulmuş, adding that Turkey’s fight against terrorism was a serious and ongoing process, highlighting that operations against the group would continue until the desired outcome is achieved.
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union – resumed a 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, over 350 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq, according to official numbers.
During his remarks, Kurtulmuş also referred to the ongoing fight against the “parallel state,” saying the struggle against the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fetullah Gülen would continue in a legal manner.
“We have to protect the state and the nation. We will not blame anyone in an unjust manner or attack their individual rights. The struggle against the FETÖ [Fetullahist Terror Organization] organization is one that is being carried out in a lawful manner, and it will continue. However, if you are asking me when it will end, we cannot give a date for it either,” he said.
Headed by Gülen, the “parallel state” represents a clandestine group of Turkish civil servants and senior officials, allegedly embedded in the country’s institutions, including the judiciary and the police.
The organization was said to be behind a December 2013 corruption investigation into senior government figures, including ministers, on graft charges.
Since early 2014, investigations into the “parallel state” have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.