Erdoğan, AKP party

Erdoğan vows revenge for the 13 Turks killed by the PKK

The Turkish president criticised European countries that refuse to condemn the terrorist activities of the PKK.

Erdoğan vowed revenge for the 13 Turkish nationals kidnapped and killed by the PKK in northern Iraq during a speech to members of his AKP party in the Ankara parliament on Wednesday. “We are not going to ask anyone for permission,” said the Turkish president in response to criticism from other countries about the operations against the terrorist group, and reiterating Turkey’s determination to destroy the PKK.

A week ago the Turkish army discovered the bodies of 13 dead Turkish citizens in a cave converted into a prison during an operation against the PKK in northern Iraq, in which 48 members of the terrorist group died and two were captured alive. The 13 Turkish citizens – some of them policemen and gendarmes and the rest civilians – had been abducted 6 years ago in southeastern Turkey, and were shot to the head, autopsies revealed.

The Turkish president warned all countries that they must accept Turkey’s “legitimate fight” against terrorism “without ifs or buts”, thus responding to the attitude adopted by several European countries that issued messages of condemnation for the murders without mentioning the PKK, despite the fact that it is officially recognised as a terrorist organisation in Europe and the United States.

Warning to countries that do not condemn the PKK

In fact, many countries remained silent in the face of the massacre, and some of the messages issued following the assassination of the 13 Turkish citizens were more a criticism of Turkey than a message of support or condemnation against the terrorists. In this regard, Erdoğan warned that those Western countries that ignore Turkey’s concern about PKK activities or hesitate to mark it as a terrorist group, will one day be victims of the PKK as well.

“If you don’t put out the fire of terrorism when you see it, one day it will certainly spread to you, too,” Erdoğan said. “Countries that prefer to cooperate with bloodthirsty terrorists rather than with Turkey, one of the oldest states in the world, will sink into a black abyss unless they change their mentality,” he insisted.

Criticism to the opposition

The Turkish leader also criticised the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, for holding him responsible for the deaths of the 13 Turkish citizens in Iraq rather than their murderers. “They have no shame and are trying to blame me,” Erdoğan said, accusing the CHP of “protecting” the PKK and its political allies, the Kurdish nationalist HDP party.

In a speech delivered in the Turkish parliament, Kılıçdaroğlu accused the Turkish president of being responsible for the 13 Turks killed by the PKK in northern Iraq. “It is Erdoğan who is responsible for our 13 martyrs,” said the head of the opposition, against whom Erdoğan’s lawyers have now filed a lawsuit for “moral damages” demanding compensation of half a million Turkish liras (about 57,000 euros).