Prime Minister Erdoğan lectures Kurdish youth against PKK
BİTLİS – Doğan News Agency
Extolling his government’s many accomplishments in the east and southeast of Turkey, Erdoğan says his party sees Turkey’s 74 million people as brothers and sisters. AA photo
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has nothing to offer except misery, Turkey’s prime minister has said during a speech in East Anatolia while extolling his government’s many accomplishments.
“Terror has not only sucked the blood of the youth and deprived mothers of their children, it has also constituted the greatest obstacle before the region’s welfare,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 18 in the eastern province of Bitlis. “Could those who massacre our citizens by laying mines in the culvert over the road here have anything to give to this country? Could those who spray our police academies [with bullets] have anything to give to this country? They have nothing to give this country other than savagery.”
The prime minister was in the province to attend a commencement ceremony at Bitlis Eren University and to attend his party’s youth branch congress.
“Those who are trying to depict the investments we have been making for nine years [in the southeast] as the consequence of [some anti-Kurdish conspiracy] are plainly lying. They are trying to cover up their own dirty ends,” he said.
Erdoğan said the reforms and investments made in the region were a consequence of the value they attached to human beings. “We see [all] 74 million people [of Turkey] as [brothers and sisters].”
Erdoğan said the PKK and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were unnerved when his government allowed universities to begin offering Kurdish classes in universities and launched TRT 6, a state-owned channel that broadcasts in Kurdish for 24 hours a day.
“When [we] brought services to the region, they tried to prevent these. They utilized every form of attack and provocation to prevent them. As freedoms spread in this region, as democratic standards rose and the policies of assimilation and denial began to dissipate, the terror organization came to establish its fascist system,” he said.
People who used to complain about unresolved murders before the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power now overlook the executions conducted by the PKK, he said.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
“Those who ranted about the lack of the freedom of expression before our government have today escalated their own ventures to repress freedom of expression,” he said.
The government has also built airports in the southeastern provinces of Hakkari and Şırnak, but this has not been received well by some people, he said.
“But we did not listen to any of it, the construction [projects] are underway. Step by step, we are making strides on the path toward becoming one of the most developed countries in democracy, economy, freedoms and physical infrastructure,” he added.