President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday slammed academicians who signed a joint declaration which criticised the government’s anti-terror operations targeting PKK in the country’s southeastern provinces.
Speaking at a ceremony in Ankara, Erdogan stated that his objection to the declaration of academicians is not because of differences regarding political views.
“My objection is not regarding the matter of them thinking in a different way. The actual matter here is that those who call themselves ‘academicians’ are carrying out propaganda for a terrorist organisation. There is no difference between taking up arms like a terrorist organisation would do and spreading propaganda for that organisation,” he added.
“Why do you choose to stand behind a terrorist organisation?”
Also speaking at a technology forum in Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu strongly criticised the academicians saying, "It is an unacceptable declaration by academicians who must look out for all issues of the country while we are fighting against terrorism.”
"The way to be an intellectual and support democracy requires one to first support democratic methods. I am asking again, ‘Why do you choose to stand behind a terrorist organisation that targeted police lodgings and nearby houses just last night, where five civilians, including a five-month old baby, were killed and one police officer was martyred?" he said.
More than one thousand academicians on Monday issued a joint declaration which claimed that the anti terror operations targeting PKK terrorists in the country’s southeastern regions harm civilians and that curfews limit their freedom.
The declaration was titled “We won’t be a part of this crime,” and it accused the Turkish state of violating human rights and of conducting a “deliberate and planned massacre,” disregarding the violent actions by the PKK terrorist group which killed around 300 Turkish security officers since last July.
Anti-terror operations against PKK
The PKK - considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, NATO, the US, and EU - have been causing chaos in southeastern Turkey by building barricades and ditches on streets and setting traps with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Turkish security forces launched a comprehensive anti-terror operation on Dec, 2015 targeting the PKK in provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Mardin.
Within the scope of the operations, curfews in towns and cities across southeastern provinces have become a regular occurrence, in order to ensure the security of citizens during clashes between security forces and PKK terrorists.
PKK latest terror attack on Wednesday killed five civilians including three children and a police officer in the Cinar District of Diyarbakir. At least 39 people were also injured.
The PKK terrorists attacked police department headquarters in the province’s Cinar district using rocket launchers, long-barreled rifles and a bomb-laden vehicle.