Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt said on Tuesday that acts of terrorism have been both politicized and legalized in recent years, pointing to the presence of deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Parliament.
Büyükanıt delivered a speech at a symposium titled "Prevention of Economic and Ideological Support for the PKK/Kongra-Gel," organized by the Turkish General Staff Military History Archives and Strategic Studies Institute (ATASE) on Tuesday in the capital. He noted that domestic and foreign support flowing to the terrorist organization is an interaction and stated that acts of terror perpetrated by separatist and terrorist groups has recently been politicized and legalized, in particular reference to deputies from the pro-Kurdish DTP in Parliament.
Stating that the objective of the symposium is to curb psychological and financial support to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Büyükanıt noted, "It is not easy to find ways to prevent resources from going to the terrorist organization because it is supported by domestic and foreign entities."
He underlined that foreign support for the separatist organization comes to a large extent from northern Iraq, adding: "Domestic and foreign support trigger each other. If the terrorist organization was not supported by internal dynamics, the scope of foreign support to members of the separatist group would not be that large. In other words, domestic support leads foreign sources to support the terrorist organization."
Noting that countries around the world have squandered significant opportunities on the path to the restoration of peace and the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, Büyükanıt said: "Now such concepts serve the interests of terrorist organizations. These concepts are of vital importance to foreign countries. When they hear members of a terrorist organization dwelling on such concepts, they believe that that the terrorist group is right in its fight."
"The entire Turkish nation should be very careful in its acts. Terrorism has been both politicized and legalized," he said.
Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun, on the other hand, stated that the stance of certain countries, including Turkey's allies, encourages members of the outlawed PKK in their terrorist activities, while noting that financial and psychological support flowing to the terrorist organization should be cut to curb such activities.
In his speech, Saygun noted that the stance adopted by certain countries, including Turkey's allies, is the most crucial factor that paves the way for members of the terrorist organization to find safe havens and continue their armed attacks.
Noting that financial, psychological and military support going to terrorist organizations should be obstructed to flush out members of those groups, Saygun stressed that all countries need to contribute to the worldwide struggle against acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians by armed terrorist organizations.
Saygun stated that the United States, the European Union and NATO have recently pledged to help Turkey crack down on the PKK separatist organization. "The EU has taken significant and promising steps to contribute to Turkey's fight against the PKK terrorist group in the last few weeks. But we also see that conferences that spread the propaganda of the terrorist organization in question are organized in the European Parliament and in the French and UK parliaments by members and proponents of the separatist group," he said.
Saygun stressed that such conferences encourage members and proponents of the terrorist organization to support bloody attacks waged by the PKK and provide political support for the terrorist organization. "We cannot understand why some countries still continue to call members of the terrorist group 'PKK guerillas,' 'armed fighters' and 'Ankara dissidents'."
Saygun noted that the PKK receives financial aid from European countries where it conducts illegal operations such as drug and human trafficking.
"Steps taken by Turkey in its fight against terrorism are criticized by European countries for reasons of human rights, but these countries forget that they take stricter measures against terrorist organizations when necessary. Though all European countries remain silent in the face of tough measures taken to curb terrorist attacks waged against their countries, they are critical of a court case opened to close down a political party that explicitly supports a terrorist organization," he said.