Turkey won't allow a cent of state funds to go to terrorists, Erdoğan says

Published 24.08.2019 22:20
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

All mayors "misusing municipal facilities" will face the same fate as the three who were recently suspended for providing support to the PKK terrorist organization, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Saturday.

Speaking at an opening ceremony in the northern Black Sea province of Rize, Erdoğan stressed that Turkey would not allow "a single cent" of the government to go to for terrorist organizations.

Erdoğan added that Ankara would continue to monitor this issue and act if needed.

According to an official statement by the Interior Ministry on Monday, the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces – Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, respectively – have been suspended for supporting terrorism. The state-appointed governors of the provinces will temporarily replace the suspended mayors as trustees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Meanwhile, referring to the Turkish presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdoğan underlined that Turkish seismic and drilling vessels continued to carry out their activities in the region.

"When we find petroleum or natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean all those who now oppose us will line up at our door," said Erdogan.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- Fatih and most recently Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.

Turkey's first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships' crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since then have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

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