Turkey will stand firm against terrorism, Erdoğan says

Published 12.01.2016 00:00
Updated 17.01.2016 14:32
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the first high-ranking official to confirm Tuesday's suicide bombing and the nationality of the suicide bomber, which hit Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square, killing 10 people.

Speaking to ambassadors at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Erdoğan condemned the attack and expressed his condolences for those who died in the explosion, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

"I strongly condemn the terror attack which was carried out by a suicide bomber of Syrian origin," Erdoğan said.

"This incident once again has shown us that we have to stay united against terrorism" Erdoğan said, and added that Turkey will continue to have a determined stance against terrorism.

"We do not see any difference between terrorist organizations, be it DAESH or the PKK. The first target of every terrorist organization in our region is Turkey because Turkey pursues each terrorist organization with the same determination," he said.

The president also slammed intellectuals who criticize the state's anti-terror operations against PKK terrorists in Turkey's southeast, while he invited foreign academics to come to Turkey and listen to the story from primary sources.

The president also touched upon Russia's actions in the war-torn Syria, saying that Moscow was preparing the ground to create a 'boutique' Syrian state around the northern province of Latakia and that it has been carrying out attacks against Turkmens there.

Russia began air operations in Syria on Sept. 30 after receiving parliamentary approval. The Kremlin claimed the airstrikes, which followed a military buildup in Syria, aimed to support the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a long-standing Russian ally, against Daesh. However, Turkey and the West have accused Russia of targeting moderate fighters opposed to Assad, many of which are supported by Turkey and the U.S.

Erdoğan also criticized Iran, saying Tehran was using developments in countries like Syria, Iraq and Yemen to expand its sphere of influence and that it was trying to spark a dangerous process with a stance turning sectarian differences into conflict.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter