Turkish deputy PM warns local councils not to aid terrorists

Turkish deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus warns local councils about ‘necessary measures' against those helping terrorists in southeastern Turkey

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus speaks during a press conference at the Prime Ministry Dolmabahce office in Istanbul on Jan. 7, 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Thursday said that any local municipality facilitating terror acts in southeastern Turkey would face the law, warning them about ‘necessary measures' to be taken.

Speaking at the prime ministry office in Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace, Kurtulmus said the first requirement for all democratically elected institutions, whether local or central administrations, was to serve within the law.

"Instead of doing this, if someone allows the digging of trenches and the planting of mines, bombs and traps, that is not a democratic right and can never be accepted as a democratic freedom," Kurtulmus said.

“Necessary steps will be taken,” he added.

The statement came after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s speech during which he accused People’s Democratic Party (HDP) municipal officials of helping PKK terrorists, on Wednesday.

"They do not care about investing in their regions or about reconstruction of their provinces. Their sole concern is terrorism and to make black propaganda," Davutoglu said.

Referring to the statements of several HDP-aligned mayors who demanded "democratic autonomy" in Turkey's eastern and southeastern provinces, Davutoglu said, "They demand autonomy; but they do not use the budget already provided to them to give service to people. Instead, they operate like the logistics site of PKK terrorists by helping them with road-barricades and trenches."

Digging trenches and planting bomb traps are the methods used by PKK terrorists against security forces in southeastern Turkish provinces such as Diyarbakir, Sirnak and Hakkari.

HDP has been involved in several incidents that signalled close ties with the PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, EU and the UK.

Officials of the HDP have previously been arrested several times on charges including the recruiting of terrorists for the PKK and disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state.

TRTWorld, AA