Erdogan: There is no Kurdish 'problem' in Turkey
The president said Turkey is not faced with a "Kurdish problem" but that the country's Kurdish population may have problems. (AFP/File)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey is not faced with a “Kurdish problem” but that the country’s Kurdish population may have problems.
“There is no longer a Kurdish problem in Turkey, but our Kurdish brothers and sisters have problems,” he said during an address to mukhtars – local community representatives – in Ankara on Monday.
His comments follow a widely reported March 15 speech in Turkey’s western Balikesir province where the Turkish president said: "There is no Kurdish problem anymore. What else do you [Kurds] want?"
Referring today to the ongoing peace process between the government and the PKK, the president said: “We have started relying on our people, including Turks and Kurds, and have been continuing to do so together. Even though some policymakers are affected by weapons, we are determined to solve this issue”.
The "solution process" officially began in 2013 in an effort to bring an end to the decades-old conflict with the PKK, which is listed by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization.
During his speech, Erdogan criticized some Kurdish politicians, adding: "Peace cannot be achieved in the shadow of weapons. We cannot go forward in this environment as promises are violated repeatedly and reliability is destroyed without seeing concrete steps."