Nobody Can Declare Cantons in Turkey as They Wish

Nobody Can Declare Cantons in Turkey as They WishNobody Can Declare Cantons in Turkey as They Wish

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu slammed declarations of local self-rule made by some Kurdish mayors in Turkey’s southeast.

“This is not Syria,” said Davutoglu, adding, “Nobody can announce cantons as they wish. In a democratic judicial state, the administrative system and its functioning are settled.”

Speaking in a wide-ranging TV interview on Thursday on the A Haber channel, Davutoglu also spoke out on scenes of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members being barred from going to the town of Cizre in Turkey’s southeast.

The town is currently under curfew.

Davutoglu said, “Every committee, even [his Justice and Development] AK Party committee, has to abide by the measures taken there to restore public order.

“When we say ‘public order’ everybody should follow [the rules].”

The prime minister said that security measures would be lifted “whenever the arms are delivered … whenever the mines are cleared, ditches are closed and conditions exist in which Cizre citizens are able to go around every neighborhood and street.”

“The [curfew] will end whenever necessary but by the time the bakeries are still operating. The necessary food is being supplied to residents. The curfew is not for agonizing the public. The reason for the curfew is to prevent civilian casualties due to the mix of civilians with terrorists.”

  Military Action in N. Iraq

The prime minister also hinted at full-scale military ground action in neighboring Iraq “if necessary.”

Davutoglu said, “Our armed forces and special units enter Iraq when necessary and come back, but we have not yet started a comprehensive ground operation.

“A full-scale operation will be launched, if necessary, just like in 2008,” he added, World Bulletin reported.

In February 2008, Turkish forces launched airstrikes in northern Iraq backed by ground troops; the weeklong operation was aimed at the PKK organization that has bases in the mountainous region, World Bulletin reported.

Davutoglu added: “In such a case, all necessary measures will be taken [to ensure the safety of] our soldiers but we have instructed them not to allow any activities that would undermine Turkey’s security.”

  Two Means

Davutoglu said Turkey was using “two means” to combat the ongoing violence.

“Turkey has faced serious terror attacks recently. Yet, we have been attentive to use two means against these.

“Democracy and public order are two elements complementing each other. If there is no public order, there are no liberties. If democracy and liberties do not exist, public order turns into an authoritarian structure,” he said.

Regarding stalled talks with the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, Davutoglu said: “There is not a situation which necessitates talks with Imrali [the Sea of Marmara island where Ocalan is imprisoned]. The focal point of previous [talks] was disarmament... The talks in 2013 were framed around this.

“There is no need for talks before creating this type of will, approach or perspective.”

  PKK Bombed

Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq overnight, a security source told Reuters on Friday, the latest in a series of daily airstrikes on the militants as conflict surges in southeast Turkey.

Hundreds of militants and security force members have died since the PKK and the Turkish state resumed hostilities after the collapse of a ceasefire in July, shattering a peace process launched in 2012 to end a three-decades-old conflict.

More than 15 warplanes struck sites where the PKK are located at Qandil, Zap and Avashin in the mountains of northern Iraq in attacks launched shortly before midnight that continued until 5 a.m., the source said.

The PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Ankara, the European Union and United States launched its separatist insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.