Those who quit AKP cannot return: President Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that left the party after being sidelined during the candidate nomination process for the March 31 local polls.
“They say, ‘When I win, I will come back to the AKP.’ Those who have stepped down from the train cannot board it again. I will not welcome anyone who got off the train. We will continue with those who we took with us on this journey, if they don’t betray us,” he said at a rally in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on March 8.
Erdoğan said they had left the party because they had not been nominated for the local elections, he stated.
“In the March 31 elections, we will enlarge our friendship further. Together, we will carry the city of Şanlıurfa to the future,” he said.
Also speaking about terrorism in the country’s southeast, he said the PKK has been launching deadly attacks in Turkey since 1984. “The group was not successful against the Turkish military and police, therefore they started targeting civilians,” he said, adding that the PKK had no desire to defend the rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey.
“Instead, the group was missioned to serve the region as subcontracted by ‘some powers’,” he said, not indicating who those circles were. “They have been joining voluntarily and are contracted subcontractors of some powers in our region since the first day.”
The AKP came to power when “our Kurdish brothers had difficulties, such as poverty, oppression, and injustice,” he said, claiming those problems existed in the entire country, but were “severe in the southeastern provinces of the country.” “We inherited Turkey in that state.”
Although the government has taken many steps to remove those difficulties, the PKK wants to divide Turkey, Erdoğan said.
He reiterated that there is no region called “Kurdistan” in Turkey. “If anyone is dreaming of a Kurdistan, they should go to northern Iraq,” he said.
Erdoğan said the Turkish security forces were carrying out operations even in the PKK’s “caves.”