Turkey vows to continue fight against PKK

  • 12/08/2015
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Reuters)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Reuters)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that Turkey will press on with a campaign against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants "until not one terrorist remains".

"We will continue our fight until weapons are laid down... and not one single terrorist remains within our borders," Erdogan said in a televised speech in Ankara on Tuesday (local time).

He added that the over two-week air campaign against the PKK had already inflicted "serious losses" on the group.

"We know that the terrorist organisation sustained serious losses as a result of operations carried out inside and outside our country," Erdogan said, referring to the PKK.

He also said "effective operations" were carried out against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, even though Turkey has so far concentrated its "anti-terror" campaign mainly against the PKK.

"We have also carried out effective operations against Daesh which poses a threat to our security," he said, using a pejorative Arabic acronym for IS.

"For us, there is no difference between terrorist organisations. Whatever their purpose is, for us, a terrorist organisation is a terrorist organisation."

He also declared that the peace process to end a three-decade insurgency by the PKK was currently "in the fridge", taking a swipe at Kurdish political forces for not appreciating the government's steps to end the conflict.

"Unfortunately they did not understand what has been done" for them, he said. "Therefore the solution process is now in the fridge."