Erdogan: Turkey facing biggest threat of extremism in history
Turkish police cordon off the Blue Mosque area on January 12, 2016 after a blast in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet left 10 people dead. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Turkey is facing one of its biggest and bloodiest extrenism waves in its history, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Addressing a Forestry Ministry conference in Istanbul Monday to mark the World Forestry, Water and Meteorology Day, Erdogan said Turkey was facing attacks from the PKK group and its affiliates as well as Daesh since July last year.
About the best way to deal with the menace of extremism, the Turkish president said "As long as our nation keeps strong our unity, togetherness and solidarity,...This is the greatest antidote to [extremism]".
He also called on the need for developing new ways to fight extremism. "I believe we will reach a result as soon as possible by developing new fighting methods against new techniques," he said.
The PKK resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state since July 2015.
Since then, over 300 members of the security forces have died and thousands of PKK fighters were killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.
Turkey is also part of a U.S.-led coalition against group Daesh in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Recently, a number of attacks against civilians have taken place in the Turkish capital Ankara and Istanbul, which were blamed on the PKK and Daesh.
On Monday, Turkish president also issued a statement to celebrate Nevruz, which marks the coming of spring across several cultures around the world.
"Together with the revival of the nature, I wish Nevruz becomes a day which strengthens love and affection in our hearts along with the will of coexistence," Erdogan said.
"During these days, we need to own our unity and solidarity more than ever," he said.
Nevruz marks the beginning of spring and has been celebrated in the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Caucasus, and most parts of Asia for hundreds of years.
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