By Cigdem Alyanak and Zehra Melek Cat
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday reiterated his firm stance against terrorism, vowing to root out terrorists from his country’s soil.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony of July 15 National Park in Esenler district of Istanbul, Erdogan said: “We are always in terrorists’ mind. We are burying them [terrorists] in the trenches that they dig and will continue to do so.”
Turkey conducts anti-terror operations inside the country and northern Iraq to neutralize PKK terrorists.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
The anti-terror operations targeting Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured -- also continued across the country.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
During his speech, Erdogan also warned opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu against inviting people to hold demonstrations similar to 2013 Gezi Park protests.
“Mr. Kemal, you cannot make anybody to take to the streets. Let me tell you something: Here is neither Paris nor the Netherlands,” he said.
In the summer of 2013, a relatively small demonstration in Istanbul’s Gezi Park grew into a nationwide wave of protests against the government that left eight protesters and a police officer dead.
Since Nov. 17, thousands of protesters wearing bright yellow vests -- dubbed the Yellow Vests -- have been gathering in major French cities, including the capital Paris, to protest Macron's controversial fuel tax hikes and the deteriorating economic situation.
During demonstrations, at least four people have been killed and more than a thousand others wounded.
Also in the Netherlands, Yellow Vest protesters took on Saturday to the streets in 16 cities, including the capital Amsterdam, the Hague and Rotterdam, upon calls made on social media by far-right groups.
They protested against the government's policies on retirement age, costly health and education services and migration issue.