PM says Turkey’s cross border operations yield efficient results
CİHAN photoThe Turkish military’s operations against terrorists inside and outside the country will continue, the prime minister has said, adding aerial campaigns against terrorists’ hideouts over the last two days have yielded efficient results.
“Our determinacy in this fight [against terror] should be known very well by everybody,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said at a joint press conference with visiting European Union Council President Donald Tusk on Sept 10. “Hence, Turkey’s aerial operations into northern Iraq continued yesterday and today and very efficient results have been taken.”
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the operations in northern Iraq were not continuous, but that forces would enter and exit when it was “needed.”
“A comprehensive ground operation has not been launched. Whenever it is needed, our armed forces, special units enter [into northern Iraq] and exit,” said Davutoğlu, adding a comprehensive operation would be launched if deemed necessary.
He also said there was no need to hold meetings with the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, at the moment as the main focus of the negotiations were disarmament and as there was no perspective of that at the moment on the PKK’s side, there was no need to meet with Öcalan.
A three-year ceasefire between the Turkish army and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was broken in mid-July, as the outlawed group resumed their violent acts in reaction to the government’s suspension of the Kurdish peace process. More than 100 security forces have been killed so far in PKK attacks, inciting massive public outrage, particularly in western parts of the country, against the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Davutoğlu and Tusk discussed the need for cooperation in the fight against all sorts of terror organizations, as the former thanked the latter for the solidarity expressed by Europe over recent terrorist attacks by the PKK, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
“These developments indicate that terror is a crime against humanity regardless of differences in race, religion or sects. I have stressed our responsibility in standing hand-in-hand against PKK terrorism which has killed dozens of our citizens and security forces just like we stood together with Europe, the EU and European countries in the struggle against ISIL,” the prime minister said.
Davutoğlu added the two leaders have discussed that steps should be taken in the prevention of financing terrorism.
The two men also reviewed the ongoing refugee crisis which has hit Europe in the last week, as thousands of people from mainly Middle Eastern and North African countries have flocked into the European continent.
Turkey has become the country hosting more refugees than any other country in the world, Davutoğlu said, drawing attention to the fact the crisis is now knocking on the doors of Europe. “Although late, this new understanding for a rapid reaction plan on refugees is a positive development. The EU mobilizing its mechanisms for refugees is an important step,” he said.
Davutoğlu also emphasized the need for close cooperation between Turkey and the EU on this matter, informing the two sides will continue to be in close contact over the crisis.