Cabinet convenes to discuss implementation of pledges, reforms, terror
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 05, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 05, 2016 12:00 am
The Cabinet convened on Thursday evening to discuss PKK terrorism in the southeast of the country, the implementation of pledges made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and steps toward drafting a new constitution.
The meeting, which was ongoing when Daily Sabah went to print on Monday evening, was held after a meeting between Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli. The two party leaders discussed the issue of a new constitution.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting a day before the government imposed weeks-long curfews on some southeastern districts last month, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said that everyone has started to see that Turkey has long been paying a heavy price" for the PKK terrorist organization's "trench politics." Since then, hundreds of PKK terrorists have been killed in the ongoing operations.
Reiterating that the ongoing violence "has not only been a hefty bill in economic terms," Kurtulmuş said that the locals are those who suffer the most from PKK attacks.
The process must be ended immediately, Kurtulmuş repeated once again: "Digging trenches, doing politics over trenches must stop." Asserting that Turkey is a democratic country and is governed by a democratic administration that is obliged to ensure the security of its people, Kurtulmuş said that no democracy would surrender to such "trench politics."
The government has intensified counterterror operations following the recent attacks carried out by the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU and Turkey. Formed in 1978, the PKK had been fighting the Turkish state for an independent Kurdistan until the early 2000s. The group then shifted its goal to autonomy in predominately Kurdish inhabited regions of Turkey.
July 22 marked the resumption of the armed fight against the PKK when terrorists killed two police officers in their sleep in the Ceylanpınar district of Şanlıurfa. Since then, over 3,000 terrorists have been killed both in airstrikes and ground operations in several districts in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey enters 2016 with its most extensive operation of recent times ongoing in the southeast. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Davutoğlu affirmed many times, the operations will continue until the terror threat is eliminated.
Returning to the table for the "frozen" reconciliation process will only be possible if all PKK elements leave the country for good and bury their weapons and ammunition. With that out of the equation, given the statements from PKK leaders, Turkish citizens can expect a restless 2016, as security forces crack down heavily on the PKK.