President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that Turkey would not hesitate to retaliate any danger against the country's national security.
Speaking at his party's youth assembly in Istanbul, the president drew attention to the ongoing anti-terror operations in the southeast and beyond its borders, saying Turkey "won't seek anyone's consent and abruptly eliminate" all terror threats targeting itself. "We will eliminate the threats wherever they come from. If our strategic allies respect our rights, we will respect theirs," he said, possibly pointing to the U.S. backing the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Erdoğan also sent a message to the mayors who are expected to resign from their post, advising them to not insist to occupying and become smitten with their post.
Addressing the youth, "You are the ones who will be taking over these posts when the time comes. We have visions for 2023, 2053 and 2071; they are all for you. You should take advantage of these opportunities in the best way possible. We set off on this road not in desire of good positions, but wanting to serve our people," he said.
Reports emerged earlier this month claiming that Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, Balıkesir Mayor Ahmet Edip Uğur and Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe were listed among other mayors expected to resign as part of the AK Party's rejuvenation process introduced after President Erdoğan returned to his party as president. Previously, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Niğde Mayor Faruk Akdoğan resigned from their posts.