In a wide-ranging television interview Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has ruled out dialogue with the PKK organization.
When questioned by Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera whether it was possible to have a dialogue with terrorists, Davutoglu said it was impossible to establish a dialogue with terrorist PKK organization.
"We had not established a dialogue before, either. There was a solution process initiated by then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [...] PKK did not fulfill the commitments to lay down arms and give up their terrorist acts," Davutoglu said during Tuesday’s interview.
Stressing that the peace process could not be resumed unless PKK ended its terror acts, Davutoglu said: "Our operations will go on until all cities, villages and mountains of Turkey are cleared of terror."
PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Davutoglu said Ankara would continue to target Daesh in Syria as repeated rocket fire from the terrorist group lands in southern regions of Turkey.
The prime minister said the Turkish army would shell Daesh positions for as long as rockets continued to strike southern Kilis province.
Since mid-January, a total of 20 people were killed and almost 70 others wounded by projectiles launched from the Syrian side.
"In fact, no country has fought against ISIL as Turkey did," said Davutoglu, referring to Daesh in its English abbreviation. He said Turkey was against Daesh involvement on its borders and would continue to militarily support moderate opposition groups against it.
Davutoglu said the Turkish government would never accept Bashar al-Assad's legitimacy in Syria "because he still continues to kill his nationals [and] forced three million Syrians to migrate. Therefore, it is not possible to mention the legitimacy of such a government," he stated.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed, according to UN figures.
Ground operation in Syria
Asked whether Turkey had considered sending ground troops to Syria, Davutoglu said: "If needed, we will send.
“If ground forces are requisite, we will send. We are ready to take every kind of measure, both at home and abroad, to defend ourselves."
However, he noted that Turkey would go for an international consensus to fight the terrorist group as he said Daesh was an issue that concerned the world.
Turning to relations with Russia, Davutoglu said Turkey did not want to take Russia on but wanted improve relations.
"However, when the issue is our national security, we will take every kind of measure. Here, it is not Russia but Turkey that faces the Daesh threat."
Davutoglu dismissed accusations that Turkey was using Syrian refugees as a card against the European Union, calling the claims “immoral".
"For us, the refugees are human beings. Syrians are our brothers. Regardless of Europe's attitude, we will help them. We will open our doors and hearts. Europeans know what we are doing. Therefore, we do not use the refugees as a trump card," Davutoglu added.
Turkey currently hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as hundreds of thousands from troubled states such as Iraq and Afghanistan.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.