Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the United States of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an international terrorist organization operating in Turkey and Iraq, whose gunmen abducted and killed dozens of Turkish citizens in northern Iraq.
Speaking at the governing party’s provincial congress in Rize, northeastern Turkey, Erdogan said that in addition to the PKK, Washington also supported its northern Syrian wing, the People’s Defense Forces (YPG) militia, which Ankara also sees as a terrorist organization and against which the Turkish military he has conducted several offenses in recent years. In contrast, the United States considered the YPG to be its most effective ally in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State’s jihadist terrorist organization.
The Turkish head of state has warned Washington that if he maintains the NATO alliance, he must behave honestly and cannot support terrorists.
Erdogan noted that individual countries will either cooperate with Turkey in the fight against terrorism or “as accomplices to this bloodthirsty terrorist organization” will pay internationally.
He stressed that Turkey has a duty to completely crush the terrorist organization and that Ankara agrees with both the Kurdistan Autonomous Region of Northern Iraq and the central government in Baghdad that the PKK should be wound up. He stressed that his country has the strength, ability, determination to attack terrorists anywhere, anytime.
Erdogan also said that social media platforms are one by one responsible for the “vile execution” of thirteen Turkish citizens, after he said these platforms had “become propaganda tools for terrorist organizations.”
The Turkish State Department later asked U.S. Ambassador to Ankara David Satterfield to “respond in the most powerful way” to the U.S. State Department statement. In it, they put it this way: “if the news is true that Turkish citizens have died at the hands of the PKK terrorist organization, we will condemn this act in the strongest possible way.”
Subsequently, Turkish Mevlüt Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone. This was the first official contact between the two portfolio leaders since the administration of new US President Joe Biden took office in the second half of January.
Concerning Monday’s conversation, the Turkish Foreign Ministry wrote that Cavusoglu was concerned about recent statements by the US side. And the U.S. State Department said Blinken expressed its condolences to its Turkish counterpart and underlined that the PKK was responsible for what had happened.
Turkish news television NTV reported on Monday that authorities had detained 718 people during a nationwide anti-terror raid, citing a Interior Ministry statement on Monday. According to the brief report, several of the provincial and district presidents of the third largest parliamentary conglomerate, the Kurdish-Friendly People’s Democratic Party (HDP), are also among those produced. The Turkish government treats the HDP as a political branch of the PKK, while the party denies contact.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday that Turkish soldiers had found the bodies of thirteen Turkish citizens who had been abducted and killed recently in a cave in the northern Iraqi Gara region where Turkish units had been operating against Kurdistan Workers since Wednesday.
He wanted to point out that one of the aims of the intervention, which was launched on 10 February, was to take the necessary steps in the case of Turkish citizens abducted by the PKK, but the public had not been informed about this before for security reasons.
The Kurdistan Workers ’Party has been conducting an armed uprising in southeastern Turkey since 1984 for the independence of the Kurdish minority, but is headquartered in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq. The Turkish army has regularly carried out operations across the Iraqi border in the past, deploying air forces and smaller ground units.
In addition to the Turkish leadership, the PKK has also been declared a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the decades-long conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK.
Source: Propeller – Saját anyagok by propeller.hu.
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