Erdoğan Seeks to Expand Terrorism Definition

Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

Following the recent bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a strong statement. Erdoğan said “a terrorist holding a gun or a bomb and those who use their position and pen to serve the aims” are the same, no difference should be made. Erdoğan added that this could be a journalist, a lawmaker or an activist.

Today Erdoğan said “I’m no longer seeing members of the party which acts as a side branch of the terrorist organization [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK] as legitimate political actors, no offense. Here, I repeat once more, we should immediately redefine ‘terror’ and ‘terrorist.’ We should immediately amend the Penal Code according to this new definition. We should provide all kinds of legal and technical opportunities to our security forces, prosecutors and judges to enable them to effectively fight against terror and terrorists,” he said.

“We have seen how the so-called intellectuals approached the incidents even in this one, haven’t we? You’ve seen it. You have seen how some rags made some kind of reports. There are headlines like ‘Damn your presidential system.’ We don’t have such a problem,” Erdoğan said.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that evidence “almost certainly” points towards the banned PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) separatist group, but still no group has officially taken responsibility.

So far 11 people have been detained in connection with the attack. Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş notified that one of the attackers was a female suicide-bomber. Following the attacks, Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes on 18 PKK targets in northern Iraq. The PKK has confirmed the strikes.

In the mean time the Anadolu news agency reported that security operations are being carried out against Kurdish militants, and that curfews have been established in Yuksekova and Nusaybin, in the southeast.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS and allows coalition planes to use its air base and is also part of Saudi lead Islamic coalition against terrorism. So far Turkey has been leading airstrikes against Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which the country regards as an extension of the PKK.

The HDP issued a statement condemning the attack, saying it shares “the huge pain felt along with our citizens”. In an online statement, the Turkish militant group TAK has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks. TAK is known to be an offshoot of the PKK.

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