We target only those who target Turkey: PM Davutoglu

NNA – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the ongoing counter-terrorism operations are against those who target Turkey.

“We target those who target Turkey, not those who do not,” Davutoglu said in a live interview with the private A Haber and ATV television channels on Monday.

His remarks came amid Turkish security forces’ nationwide “anti-terrorist operations” after alleged attacks by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU and Turkey — claimed lives of three police officers in Ceylanpinar district of southeastern Sanliurfa and in Diyarbakir province.

On Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday, Turkish fighter jets bombed PKK camps in northern Iraq and Daesh positions in Syria near border with Turkey. Jets also hit PKK targets outside Turkey on Sunday night.

“PKK has committed 281 terrorist acts since June 7 general elections, which corresponds to around six terror actions per day,” he said.

Davutoglu said that some regarded the post-election period as an opportunity to spread terror and chaos “while Turkey was bracing for a new term with a well-presented parliament that has a strong legitimacy and conducting coalition talks”.

He warned against the misconception that since Turkey was going through a transitional period, its security forces were incapable of taking effective measures.

The premier also highlighted the fact that Daesh had an ideological problem with Turkey since it was the only example in the wider Middle East where democracy and Islam co-existed in harmony with all its different ethnicities, sects and religious identities.

“When we look at the world of Islam, there are either totalitarian regimes or chaos, except for a few countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey where people can enjoy democracy, pluralism and economic development together,” he said.

He pointed out Turkey was the key guarantee of regional stability, “so its role as protector of stability poses a threat to Daesh when it tries to create chaos in the region”.

“This success story is the antithesis of Daesh ideology, that’s why it targets Turkey,” he added.

He said that Turkey did not want to see Daesh near its borders. He added that the “moderate opposition” forces must take control of the region that was now under control of Daesh on the border with Turkey.

“The Syrian opposition forces, which have a moderate approach against other groups and are not extremists, must take control of the mentioned region on the border,” he said.

He added: “The most important issue for Turkey is to stop the influx of refugees and if it is possible to create an environment that promotes confidence among the refugees [in Turkey] to go back.”

Davutoglu also pointed out that this would not be possible if only Daesh was destroyed but also the Syrian regime’s persecution must also end.

He said that the U.S. had considered Turkey’s sensitivity on these issues in discussions that led to an agreement between two countries which saw Ankara allowing the U.S.-led international coalition aircraft to use Turkish airbases to strike Daesh.

He also pointed out that there were 50 to 60 foreign suspects out of the total 1,050 detained by security forces across 34 Turkish provinces since the nationwide operations began, adding that more than 10,000 foreigners had their entries banned into Turkey.–AA

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