Turkey sees cross-border operations against PKK as both right, necessary
President Erdoğan said on Friday that cross-border operations in Syria aimed at eliminating the threat posed by PKK terrorists and Turkey had the right and obligation to protect its citizens from all such threats emanating from near abroad
TURKEY will continue to take all the necessary actions needed to eliminate terrorist threats wherever they may be, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday, adding that the recent cross-border operations in Syria are also part of Ankara’s efforts to secure Turkey’s borders and national sovereignty. “We do not have the luxury to say go ahead, if there are attacks and harassment originating from within the borders of the National Pact aimed at our country. We have the responsibility to implement the necessary measures. This is what we did in Operation Euphrates Shield and what we are doing right now in Idlib and Afrin,” the president said in Ankara during the commemoration ceremony of the death of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, referring to the set of decisions adopted by the Ottoman parliament in 1920 for peace conditions after the empire’s defeat in World War I. The National Pact sought self-determination for Turks in areas previously occupied or expected to be occupied by the Allies in a peace treaty, and demanded Mosul and Kirkuk in northern Iraq, northern Syria, Georgia’s Batumi and western Thrace in Greece be included within the country’s borders.
PEOPLES’ Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Leyla Birlik attended the funeral of a member of the PKK terrorist group who was killed in a clash with police last week in Diyarbakır.
Security forces carried out an operation on a terrorist cell in the Kayapınar district of Diyarbakır. Murat Çelik, a member of the PKK’s Civil Defense Units (YPS) urban structure, whose codename was “Mordem Andok,” was killed in a shootout, and a grenade thrown by him had wounded 10 police officers. Ahmet Alp Taşdemir, one of the wounded officers, later died from his wounds.
Çelik’s body was handed over to his family and interred at Yeniköy cemetery in Diyarbakır. Some officials from the HDP, including Birlik, the party’s Şırnak deputy, attended the funeral ceremony.
The HDP came under fire numerous times for attending terrorists’ funerals and making supportive statements about the PKK, despite the party’s claims that they do not support and have no ties with the terrorist group.
Party’s members have attended the funeral of PKK terrorists many times before. In the most controversial example, HDP Deputy Tuba Hezer attended the funeral and was a pallbearer for a terrorist who perpetrated the Ankara car bombing on Feb. 17, which killed 28 people, mostly civilians, and wounded 61.
Former HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, previously drew heavy criticism for calling the PKK a national liberation movement.
The conflict with the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU and NATO, has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people over the past three decades.