Turkey’s Erdoğan says Europe ‘nursing a viper in its bosom’ by direct, indirect support of ‘terror’

Turkey’s Erdoğan says Europe ‘nursing a viper in its bosom’ by direct, indirect support of ‘terror’

Turkey’s Erdoğan says Europe ‘nursing a viper in its bosom’ by direct, indirect support of ‘terror’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has suggested that Europe was “dancing in a minefield” by directly or indirectly supporting “terror” groups, while also stating Europe needed to look at its own record before telling Turkey what to do on migrants.

Delivering a speech in the western province of Çanakkale, where he attended ceremonies to mark Martyrs’ Day and the commemoration of the Gallipoli naval victory during World War I on March 18, Erdoğan recalled Brussels has been hosting a EU-Turkey summit where European Union leaders were trying to convince Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to help end Europe’s migration crisis in return for financial and political concessions.

The Belgian government allowed supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to pitch tents before the Turkey-EU summit in Brussels near the EU council building, Erdoğan said.

“These [countries] are not honest, not sincere and they are acing ambivalently,” Erdoğan said. “Whom are you deceiving? Be honest, be sincere. There is no Turkey or Turkish nation who will be deceived. The name of this is surrendering to terror. These [countries] surrendered to terror.”

“There is no reason for the bomb, which exploded in Ankara, not to explode in Brussels, where an opportunity to show off in the heart of the city to supporters of the terror organization is presented, or in any city in Europe. Despite this clear reality, European countries are paying no attention, as if they are dancing in a minefield. You can never know when you are stepping on a mine. But it is clear that this is an inevitable end,” he said, referring to the PKK and the March 13 suicide bomb attack which killed at least 35 people in the heart of Ankara.

A PKK offshoot claimed responsibility for both the Feb. 17 and March 13 suicide bombings that killed at least 66 people in Ankara. 

“I’m once more calling on the countries which directly or indirectly lend support to terror organizations: You are nursing a viper in your bosom. That viper you have been nourishing can bite you at any time,” he added.

European leaders have expressed concern about the loss of civilian life in Turkey’s southeast amid the country’s military operations to flush out the PKK, urging it to use proportional force. 

“At a time when Turkey is hosting 3 million [migrants], those who are unable to find space for a handful of refugees, who in the middle of Europe keep these innocents in shameful conditions, must first look at themselves,” Erdoğan said.

“Our struggle against terrorism is measured and legitimate... Every terrorist organization active in our region and in Turkey has unified against Turkey. Many states, primarily Western countries, still cannot display a principled stance against these groups,” he said.