The comments by the prime minister were on Saturday during his visit to the Turkish province of Ağrı, where Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacked a village on September 10, killing ten people, including Turkish troops and law enforcement, Hurriyet Daily reported.
Speaking with the families of those killed in the attack, Yildirim hinted that PKK backed by foreign nations looks to break up the country. “They want to turn Turkey into Syria or Iraq via cooperating with foreign powers. However, they forget one thing: This is not Syria or Iraq. This is Anatolia,” he said, adding that the government is “aware” of the plans of enemies of the Turkish state. “They are feeding terror in order to divide Turkey. This is a dirty game.” However, Yildirm stressed that the enemies of Turkey came at “the wrong address,” because Ankara has a decades-long experience of fighting terrorists. “We will kick you out of this soil,” he said in reference to PKK. “Operations against this cowardly terror group will continue until attacks against our gendarmerie, police and rural guards are completely over.”
The announcement comes amid reaction to the failed coup attempt in Turkey that took place on July 15. The mutiny resulted in 240 deaths and thousands of arrests of military officers, high-ranking civil servants, judges and teachers suspected of complicity in the plot.
The crackdown on Kurdish insurgents that are active in the southeastern Turkey became even stronger following the failed coup. In September some 11,500 teachers suspected of engaging in activities “in support of the separatist terrorist organization (Kurdish Workers’ Party or PKK) and its affiliates” were dismissed. The conflict between Ankara and the PKK has lasted since 1984. The new spiral of conflict started in 2015, when a ceasefire agreement between the parties broke down.