Ankara Committed to National Unity Despite Airstrikes on Kurds in Iraq
15:15 25.07.2015(updated 15:16 25.07.2015)
Ahmet Davutoglu urged the Kurdistan Workers' Party to lay down their arms and stressed that Turkish authorities will not put up with those 'who abuse the peace process.'
ANKARA (Sputnik) – The peaceful resolution of the Kurdish problem remains a strategic goal for the Turkish government, despite the Turkish Armed Forces' military operation in the northern Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday.
The PKK, a political group listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara, was founded at the end of the 1970's to fight for self-determination of Kurds, comprising some 25 percent of Turkey's population. Earlier in the day, the armed wing of the PKK announced that its three-year-long ceasefire agreement with Ankara was over following Friday's airstrikes carried out by the Turkish Air Force on the group's positions in northern Iraq.
'The process of [the Kurdish problem] settlement, or the process of national unity and brotherhood is our strategic goal,' Davutoglu said at a press conference in Ankara.
The Turkish prime minister added that his government wants PKK to lay down their arms and stressed that Turkish authorities will not put up with those 'who abuse the peace process.'
The airstrikes come a day after Turkish police conducted an anti-terrorist operation in 13 of the country's provinces, detaining 251 people suspected of involvement with various terrorist organizations.
On Monday, a Turkish citizen, allegedly associated with ISIL, carried out a terrorist attack in the Turkish city of Suruc close to the Syrian border in front of a cultural center for Turkish Kurds, killing 32 people and injuring over 100.
On Wednesday, the PKK claimed responsibility for killing two Turkish police officers in the nearby city of Ceylanpinar, claiming the policemen had backed ISIL.
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