Turkish PM assures to keep security-freedom balance in anti-PKK fight

Turkish PM assures to keep security-freedom balance in anti-PKK fight

Turkish PM assures to keep security-freedom balance in anti-PKK fight

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Turkey’s prime minister vowed his government will continue to preserve the balance of security and freedom in the ongoing fight against separatist terrorism amid concerns that the anti-terror struggle also targets the democratically elected Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its leaders. 

“Everybody knows about our 13 years of performance. We know no security can be provided without freedoms and no public order without protecting human dignity,” Davutoğlu said Aug. 2 in an address to representatives of civil society organization from the eastern and southeastern Anatolian region. Davutoğlu denied allegations that Turkey was returning to the 1990s where the country tried to resolve terrorism through only intensified military means. 

As there can be no security without freedoms, vice versa is also impossible, Davutoğlu said. “Syrians and Iraqis are witnesses that fundamental freedoms, like the right to life cannot exist without security. That’s why we have preserved this balance from the very first day [of our government].” Davutoğlu underlined that they knew that the problem is not only a matter of security and that’s why they have initiated reforms to resolve the Kurdish question over the last 13 years. 

This message should also be delivered by civil society organizations and other civil means, Davutoğlu said, stating this as the reason behind his series of meetings with different organizations since a massive terror campaign started in Turkey. 

It’s evident that three terror organizations, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), have launched a simultaneous terrorist campaign against Turkey, Davutoğlu said, citing statements issued by these organizations on July 20, 21 and 22.  

“As they stood against us, the people asked, ‘Where is the state?’ We had to show that the state is present and we did it,” he said, adding if the government had not responded, Turkey would find itself in a bigger mess, more violent than last year’s Kobane uprisings that claimed the lives of 50 people. 

He also repeated his criticisms that the HDP failed to save itself from the PKK shadow. Davutoğlu asked that, despite the HDP’s ability to enter parliament with 80 lawmakers, “Could these 80 lawmakers have asked Kandil [the mountainous leader stronghold of the PKK]: ‘We are not represented where the common reason will be produced, therefore drop your weapons and stop threatening?’”

Denying claims that the government ended the Kurdish peace process, Davutoğlu said the call for the end of ceasefire came from PKK’s Cemil Bayık the day he met HDP’s Selahattin Demirtaş. “Against whom did you start a war? On behalf of whom did you start a war? Who instructed you to let the sons of Mesopotamia fight against the sons of Anatolia, Rumelia and Caucasus? Who told to you to turn Turkey into another Iraq or Syria?” he asked. 

ISIL a threat to humanity

Describing ISIL as a threat against humanity and regional countries, Davutoğlu said, “This organization … is a bigger threat to Muslims than Christians. It’s a threat against humanity. We have repeated this hundreds of thousands of time but there are those who are still trying to portray us with [ISIL] as part of an international conspiracy.” He added no one can show documents proving Turkish support of any ISIL leader because no such thing exists.