14 December 2017

Turkey will not 'step backward' from terror fight

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Ankara will strongly respond to any kind of terror threat, regardless of where it comes from, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday. reports citing AA.

Speaking at a news conference in Istanbul, Kalin said Turkey would not ask for permission to respond to threats as Ankara had the right to protect its sovereignty.

In response to a question regarding Turkey’s military re-enforcement of its border near the PKK/PYD-held Syrian city of Afrin, Kalin said Ankara would “retaliate” if threatened.

Turkey has deployed more troops to its southeastern border near Hatay after soldiers came under fire from Afrin.

Ankara considers the PYD/YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. However, the U.S. views the PYD/PKK as its ally in the fight against Daesh in northern Syria.

Recalling recent PKK attacks in south-east Turkey which killed civilians and local elected officials, Kalin criticized Western countries’ silence on these “massacres”.

Two officials belonging to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party were shot dead over the weekend in the eastern province of Van and southeastern province of Diyarbakır, while two road workers were killed and four others hurt in another attack in Sirnak on Monday, both by the PKK terrorist group.

Kalin also slammed what he called double standards by countries which criticized Turkey’s anti-PKK measures.

He said Turkey would continue to fight terrorism in its own way.

“Whatever they say, we will continue to fight terrorism in the most effective way,” he said, adding: “To take a step backward from this strong stance for the unity and solidarity in Turkey is out of question.”

The PKK has killed nearly 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, in Turkey since the terror group resumed its decades-old campaign in July 2015.


Regarding international Saudi-led demands to close a Turkish military base in Qatar, Kalin said Ankara was working to establish peace across the region. The Turkish military base established in Qatar following an agreement in 2014 “does not pose a threat to any countries in the region,” Kalin said. According to foreign media, a 13-point list of demands for Qatar includes the closure of its Al Jazeera television, downgrading its ties with Iran and extraditing "terrorists". Several Arab countries have given Doha a 10-day deadline to meet the demands. Kalin said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would continue to keep in touch with regional and global actors regarding the Qatar crisis.

He underlined that the next few days were “critical” as Qatar handed over its response to the Saudi demands to Kuwait, the Gulf state mediating in the crisis.

2017.07.03 / 20:14
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