Speaking to reporters at the end of the G20 summit in Hamburg Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Selahattin Demirtas, the jailed co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a “terrorist.”
Erdogan's comments came following a reporter asking the president, "Why doesn't Turkey give its support for a Kurdish state in the Middle East," and the release of Demirtas who is currently in prison for terror links.
"As I understand it, you want Iraq to be split. We will not allow Iraq to be split, Iraq can only be strong if it protects its territorial integrity," Erdogan said.
"First of all, I do not have the power nor the authority to order the release of terrorists from prison," said Erdogan referring to Demirtas.
"Turkey is a country with law and order, and the person you mentioned is a terrorist."
"He is the type of terrorist who called on my Kurdish brothers to take to the streets and caused 53 people's death. He pitted Kurds against Kurds and that is just one of his crimes."
Erdogan was referring to the events of October 6-7, 2014 that took place when opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) called on its supporters to streets to rally in support of besieged Kobani.
The rally soon turned into attacks on members of HDP rival conservative Kurdish Free Cause Party (Huda-Par Party) by youth arm of the terrorist PKK, and during the protests, more than 50 people were killed.
Yasin Boru, Hakan Gokgoz, Riyat Gunes and Huseyin Dakak as well as Huda-Par members were killed in Diyarbakır while distributing food packages for aid purposes. The victims were gruesomely attacked with knives and rocks by militants.
They were dragged out of the apartment building where they had taken shelter and brutally killed. Their bodies were burnt and ran over with a car after they died.
“This is an individual who has boasted and said ‘We have the PKK, the PYD and the YPG behind us.’ Anyway, the issue is being addressed in the justice system. We welcome any ruling the judiciary issues regarding them,” he added.