President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the counterterror fight will continue resolutely until the last explosive in the country is dismantled and freedom of the press, rule of law and democracy are used as a shelter to assault the unity of the nation and the solidarity of the state.
Speaking yesterday in opening ceremonies of projects in southern Adana province, Erdoğan said those who only see terrorism in Turkey, considering the country, are actually those who encourage the PKK and support it.
"I am making a call for those who see only ditches while looking at Turkey. You shall look at those who make those ditches. Those who only see Syrians, miserable migrants, are those who make their countries unlivable."
The PKK adopted an urban war strategy after the experience its militants gained while fighting alongside the People's Protection Units (YPG) against DAESH in Kobani, Syria in 2014. In December, the PKK established the Civil Protection Units (YPS) by uniting the organization's urban youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), with its militants operating in rural areas and the Self-Defense Units (ÖSB), something interpreted by some as an indication the PKK was planning to move clashes with security forces from rural to urban areas in the southeast. However, since the beginning of the counterterrorism operations, 1,250 terrorists have reportedly been killed as of March in Şırnak, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Muş provinces. Additionally, 175 barricades have been removed, 56 ditches filled in, 3,100 buildings cleared and 47 rifles, five rocket launchers and 144 grenades confiscated.
He also criticized the Gülen Movement, saying the fight against Gülenists will also continue.
"You are sitting in Pennsylvania. If you are not guilty, then you shall come to Turkey," he said to the leader of the Gülen Movement, Fethullah Gülen, who is a self-exiled controversial imam accused of leading an organization that attempted to topple democratically elected government through illegal means.
The Gülen Movement has been defined as the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) or parallel structure" in records by many Turkish state institutions including the Interior Ministry, Security General Directorate and Istanbul Police Department. The "parallel structure" is used in reference to a group of Gülenist bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in key posts of the country's institutions, including the judiciary and police who are accused of infiltrating these institutions through cheating and blackmail.