Turkish President says definition of terror needs to expand

Turkish President Erdogan says definition of terrorism needs to be expanded to include supporters of terrorism

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting in Presidential Complex in Ankara on March 14, 2016.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the definition of terrorism needs to be expanded to include supporters of terrorism, who are equally guilty.

Speaking after Sunday’s deadly bombing in Ankara, Erdogan said “The one who offers his pen, title and position for the usage of terrorist is no different than an actual terrorist holding a gun or a bomb.”

“Being an MP, an academic, journalist, writer or civil society group executive does not change the reality of that person being a terrorist,” he added.

On Sunday night, a car bomb in Ankara killed at least 37 people and injured more than 120 others.

The terror attack took place in Kizilay square near Guvenpark, next to a major transportation hub of bus stops and the central metro station.

Condemning the ones behind the attack, Erdogan continued “The one who detonates the bomb or pulls the trigger might be a terrorist but who helps them to reach their goals? These are the supporters of the crime. Terror and terrorism need to be redefined. We have to amend our criminal law immediately.”

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking at a news conference on Monday, announced that 11 suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack.

The prime minister also said that Turkish authorities are "almost certain" that the PKK terrorist group is responsible for the attack in Ankara.

Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said that a woman was "definitely" one of the suicide bombers who perpetrated the car bombing.

Kurtulmus also said that the second suicide bomber was male, however, his identity is yet to be confirmed.

Sunday's attack was the second such incident to hit Ankara in the last month.

On Feb. 17, a suicide attacker set off a car bomb during the evening rush hour near the Turkish General Staff and parliament buildings, killing 29 people and wounding 81 others.

TAK, an affiliate of the PKK terror organisation claimed responsibility for the attack.

TRTWorld, AA