PM vows to destroy hostile elements on Turkey’s borders

PM vows to destroy hostile elements on Turkey’s borders

PM vows to destroy hostile elements on Turkey’s borders

AP photo

The Turkish government will not let any hostile element survive on its borders, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has pledged, while repeatedly voicing determination to not allow the Syrian Kurdish militia to cross west of the Euphrates River.

Davutoğlu also argued that he has never made a statement “legitimatizing” the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in reply to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş’s earlier comments. Instead, he attacked Demirtaş for “defending” the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The one who needs to be ashamed is Demirtaş … who is even now defending the PKK, which launched terrorist activities,” Davutoğlu said late Oct. 27. 

Earlier on Oct. 27, upon an announcement by Davutoğlu that Turkey had struck Kurdish militia fighters in Syria twice after they defied Ankara’s warning not to cross west of the Euphrates River, Demirtaş said the government “apparently” wasn’t satisfied with ongoing conflict in the country and seemed eager to declare war against the Syrian Kurdish region.

Ankara has said Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed link, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), are affiliated with the PKK and they should be a designated terrorist organization like the PKK.

“While the PYD hasn’t carried out any threat against Turkey and while the Syrian Kurds have been extending their hands of fraternity and peace to Turkey, Davutoğlu’s consideration of the PYD as a threat instead of considering ISIL as a threat is a shame for him,” Demirtaş said.

Davutoğlu’s response was aggressive.

“I have never overlooked the display of any manner which legitimizes DEASH [ISIL]. We hit both DAESH and the PKK. If needed, the YPG too,” he said in an interview with Beyaz TV, while indicating that during Turkey’s airstrikes against ISIL positions in late July, the PYD wanted to take advantage of the situation and attempted to gain territory west of the Euphrates River. 

“Demirtaş should leave aside such cunningness. We know what is happening on the ground. We would hit the head of whoever raises its head for hitting Turkey,” he added.

Turkey’s security concerns and priorities will not change after the Nov. 1 snap election, the prime minister of the interim government maintained.

“Whoever is on Turkey’s borders should be friends with Turkey. We would not let anyone who displays hostility live on our border. No matter whether this is the PKK camps in North Iraq, the YPG-PYD camps and cantons in Syria or other entities, we will not let any entity hostile to Turkey to live on Turkey’s borders,” he said.