Erdoğan says terror groups serve same agenda

In the wake of the defeated July 15 coup the PKK has stepped up its terror attacks in eastern Turkey, with President Erdoğan describing the group's actions as 'retaliation' for weeks of democracy rallies against the coup attempt.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses delegates of Islamic NGOs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on August 18, 2016.

There is no difference between the PKK and DAESH terrorist groups and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday.

Speaking to a delegation of Islamic NGOs at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Erdoğan said despite the differences in their names the terror groups serve the same motives.

His comments came after a series of terror attacks by the PKK targeting security forces in Turkey’s east and southeast.

On Wednesday three people were killed and 71 others injured when an alleged car bomb hit a police checkpoint in Turkey's eastern province of Van.

The attack was followed two other attacks on Thursday.

Three people were killed after a car bomb attack targeted a police station in the eastern province of Elazığ on Thursday.

On the same day, PKK terrorists carried out another attack in Bitlis, killing six soldiers and wounding five others.

President Erdoğan emphasised that the recent attacks came in the wake of the defeated coup of July 15, suggesting that FETÖ was ultimately behind them.

"The latest attack in Elazığ Province explicitly reveals that the aim was purely and simply to shed blood, to cause mourning, and to disturb the social peace."

He described the attacks as "retaliation" for the weeks of democracy rallies which took place across the country against the foiled July 15 coup attempt.

Calling the country "a strategic partner," Erdoğan urged the United States to extradite Fetullah Gülen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999, and allow the Turkish authorities to try him.

DAESH 'casts shadow over Islam'

Erdoğan said terror organisations such as DAESH, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda were formed as pretexts to associate Islam with terrorism.

He said DAESH is not representative of Islam and slammed those who claimed that Turkey has aided the terrorist group.

"DAESH is not a representative of Islam. DAESH is a terrorist organization that casts a shadow, a dark pall over Islam. We could never take sides with DAESH."

The president added that those who make such allegations are in fact helping DAESH.  

The group has been linked to several suicide bombings and attacks in Turkey.

The latest terror attack by DAESH took place in late June at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, killing at least 42 people and injured 239 others.

AA, TRTWorld and agencies