Terrorists to have no relief: President Erdoğan
ANKARAMembers of terrorist organizations will no longer have any relief in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 30 during an opening ceremony in the southeastern province of Mardin which has suffered through months of curfews amid battles between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“From now on, no matter which organization they are affiliated with, no terrorist will have relief. They will either retreat from this wrong path that they embarked upon and surrender, or they will leave this country. Otherwise, we will throw them out of our country with our police, soldiers and village guards,” Erdoğan said in Mardin on March 30.
Erdoğan focused his speech mostly on anti-terror operations as the southeastern province suffered through recent clashes between Turkish and PKK militants last year, with weeks of curfews leaving many districts destroyed.
The rationale for the curfew was to enable operations to fill in ditches and remove barricades erected by the PKK. However, Turkey’s increasingly repeated declarations of long-term curfews have drawn criticism.
“The state of the Republic of Turkey is the state of all 80 million citizens. Our state is capable of stamping out those who bite the hand which was thrust out to solve the problems with negotiation, without any nosebleed,” Erdoğan said.
“Indeed, it showed this power by burying the terrorist organization which started these ditch attacks,” he said.
Slamming the People’s Democracy Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, for acting along with the PKK in resolving the problems, Erdoğan said the destroyed districts would be rebuilt by the state.
“In this process, our state will cover the needs of all the victims, all the people whose houses or workplaces were destroyed. Now, we are rebuilding all of the houses one by one. We will start to deliver them soon,” he added.