Turkey urges EU to take concrete steps against PKK activities across Europe

DAILY SABAH WITH ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published

Ankara has reiterated its concerns over the activities of the PKK terror group across European cities, urging EU authorities to go beyond rhetoric in supporting Turkey's fight against the terror organization.

Speaking on the issue, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu criticized yesterday the EU's stance against terror for not achieving any substantial results.

"The EU is reaching a realistic base on its Turkey policies, however, we now expect results. We are always ready for dialogue with the EU. Europe is a continent that also includes us. A common effort should be put forward for the solution to problems," the foreign minister said during a press conference with his Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek in Ankara.

Ankara has long criticized the European Parliament's (EP) attitude towards the PKK terror group, as the EP has shown tolerance towards the terror group.

In July, a photo exhibition was put on display at the EP featuring the leaders and members of the PKK terrorist organization and its Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD). A large 2013 photograph of PKK head Abdullah Öcalan — convicted in 1999 of terrorism and treason, and currently serving out a life sentence — was also displayed at the exhibit.

The PKK-affiliated Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) terrorists carried out twin bombings in Istanbul on Saturday evening, with a suicide bombing in Maçka Park and a car bomb detonated on a nearby street. Together the blasts killed 44 people, mostly police officers.

TAK terrorists have carried out three major terrorist attacks this year. Two were in Ankara: one on Feb. 17 with 28 dead, and another on March 13 killing 34. There was also a car bombing in Istanbul on June 7 in which 11 people died. Both the PYD and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), are offshoots of the PKK terrorist organization operating in Syria. The militants often receive training in Syria in YPG positions and travel to Turkey to carry out attacks for TAK or the PKK. Both groups share organic ties with the PYD/YPG.

Turkey has repeatedly criticized such displays serving to promote terrorist groups in European countries, reiterating that the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU.

"The PKK should not find support in the EP [European Parliament]," Çavuşoğlu said and added: "We expect the EU to be just toward Turkey. We do not expect it to be on our side, but we expect them to be on the side of the rightful and to be just. They should treat Turkey as an equal partner."

Meanwhile, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister said Monday that Turkey expected more than messages of solidarity from the international community in the fight against terror. "We find these supports [from the world] positive, but we also underline that we do not find them to be enough," Numan Kurtulmuş said after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

"Our friends in those countries that communicated supportive messages should sincerely maintain an open and common fight against terrorism with Turkey," he added.

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