ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 15 (UPI) — Those who continue to support the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party will pay a heavy price for their crimes, the Turkish prime minister said.
Ankara and the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known by its Kurdish acronym PKK, have been locked in battle since the 1980s. Efforts to resolve the impasse through political and diplomatic means have faltered in the past.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech marking the 10th anniversary of his Justice and Development Party that Ankara’s patience with the PKK was wearing thin.
“Those who fail to distance themselves from the separatist terrorist organization in this country are also abetting this crime,” he was quoted by Turkish news agency Today’s Zaman as saying. “They are also doomed to pay the price for that.”
The Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, is considered an ally of the PKK. BDP official Hasip Kaplan said that instead of discussing peace during the holy month of Ramadan, the prime minister was calling for a massacre.
“He could have said that he would seek ways to reach a compromise to the very end and that the process of making a new constitution would be a good chance for a solution,” Kaplan was quoted as saying. “But instead he declared war.”