Turkish President: PKK Supporters Should Be Stripped of Citizenship

Turkey, Ankara : ANKARA, TURKEY - APRIL 6: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he addresses neighborhood leaders (mukhtars) during the mukhtars meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey, on April 6, 2016. Turkish Presidency/Yasin Bulbul / Anadolu Agency
Turkish Presidency/Yasin Bulbul / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Turkey must use all measures at its disposal against the separatist communist group known as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including stripping its members of their citizenship, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has vowed not to negotiate with the group, which has been deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey, and many of their mutual allies.

“Perhaps we are dying one by one, but at least we are killing them in their tens, twenties and thirties. This is continuing like that. We have to be resolute in taking all measures to incapacitate supporters of the terror organization, including stripping them of their citizenship. They cannot even be our citizens,” Erdoğan said in Ankara on April 5.

Echoing Erdoğan, Davutoglu said the PKK must not be considered an “interlocutor.”

“Nobody should expect from us to address the terror organization who have arms and blood on their hands as an interlocutor. From now on, we have a single interlocutor; that is our nation and each individual of our nation,” the Turkish PM said April 5.

“Those who are currently meeting with the terrorist organization speak of ‘negotiations.’ But there are no issues to be negotiated,” Erdoğan said a day earlier.

Turkey, in recent months, has been hit by its worst wave of violence in years, since its fragile peace process was broken in July 2015 after a two-and-a-half-year de facto ceasefire between Turkish security troops and PKK terrorists.

“In late December 2012, then-Prime Minister Erdoğan personally made public that intelligence agents were meeting with the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, in an attempt to end the three-decade-long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the PKK,” reports Hurriyet Daily News.

“Terror organizations can only be interlocutors for our security forces who reflect the strong will of our nation. Nobody can cross lines by testing and questioning our resolve in the fight against terror,” Davutoğlu said.

Last week, Davutoğlu appeared to suggest that the PKK should send its armed supporters abroad as a condition to restart peace negotiations.

“We didn’t end the peace process. The ones who set up barricades, dug holes and called for a civil war ended it,” Davutoğlu reportedly told reporters during his visit to the southeastern province of Diyarbakı on April 1.

According to various Turkish news outlets, he added:

What the public expects from the peace process is the complete abandonment of arms. If that happens and we go back to May 2013, and if the PKK sends all of its armed components abroad, leaving no armed element in Turkey, then everything can be talked about. The PKK has to lay down arms, there is no other way. Why wouldn’t talks take place in peaceful conditions after guns are laid down?

Davutoğlu’s office has not denied the reports.


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