President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Wednesday called on the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to stop siding with the PKK and choose democracy to have a role in politics.
Erdoğan spoke Wednesday after reports of support for the PKK terrorist organization by some HDP members emerged. Senior HDP figures such as Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ visited the family of a terrorist killed in anti-PKK operations and some other HDP deputies were accused of being involved in aiding the PKK in the east.
Erdoğan lashed out at the politicians for making things difficult for security forces who are fighting against terrorist organizations and their affiliates.
Addressing a joint press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Erdoğan, without saying the name of the HDP, said: "I repeat my call to the party that has difficulty in distancing itself from the terrorist PKK: Make your choice. Are you on the side of democracy or terrorism?"
Erdoğan said the HDP must choose between fighting with politics or with weapons, bombs, violence and blood. "Even though I never agree with your policies or discourse, I will respect your stance and support you until the very end if you side with democracy. But if you stand beside terrorism, you must be ready to pay the price," he warned.
He said the government would do what the law required in the face of recent terrorist attacks, saying: "Nobody is allowed to disturb the people of Turkey."
Last Sunday, 16 soldiers were killed in Hakkari province in the deadliest incident since the PKK renewed its terrorist campaign at the end of July.
Erdoğan described it as a duty for the state and its security forces to fight terrorism. Security forces have responded to renewed PKK attacks by launching airstrikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq and the military has sent ground troops across the border.
About the upcoming early election on Nov. 1, he said the polls are the "place for a payoff in politics, not the streets."
"Do you want to bring into account the party whose politics, tone or stance disturbs you?" Erdoğan asked. He also warned Turkey's Kurds that the PKK could not be their representatives. "No illegal act can ever exist together with politics," he said. "Turkey needs responsible politicians, not those provocateurs," he said. He also condemned the attacks on HDP party offices across Turkey and their perpetrators.
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