Turkey's top general says images on PKK surrender 'unacceptable'

Turkey's top general said images during surrender of PKK members was "unacceptable".

Turkey's top general says images on PKK surrender 'unacceptable'

Turkey's top general said images during surrender of PKK members was "unacceptable".

Turkish General Staff Chief Gen. Ilker Basbug said Sunday, "no one can accept what happened in Turkey lately. I share the feelings of our veterans and relatives of martyrs."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey delayed arrival of PKK group from Europe for surrender after "show-offs" caused "crisis of confidence".

PKK members surrendered last week after returning from neighbouring Iraq to support Erdogan's opening process, which includes plans to grant more political and cultural rights to minority Kurds.

Gen. Basbug told reporters about recent developments following return of some members of the PKK, "it is impossible to accept last week's developments. I do share the feelings of our veterans and relatives of martyrs. No one should forget the fact that if those people had not sacrificed their lives and those veterans had not been injured, where would Turkey have been in its fight against terrorism? If we forget this fact, it will be a big disrespect against our martyrs and veterans."

34 members of PKK from Makhmour refugee camp and Qandil Mountain --8 of which were dressed in PKK uniforms-- surrendered to Turkish authorities at Habur border gate. Huge rallies were held resembling victory celebrations with the participation of thousands of people and DTP officials to welcome the group of PKK members, a scene which
created strong reaction in the public, opposition, media and the judiciary.

"In 1990s, the terrorist organization attempted to take a certain part of Turkey under its control and establish an independent state. Today, the PKK understood that it cannot reach such targets. They do not talk about independence any more," he said.

"The fight against terrorism is difficult. Our troops carry out this fight 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. They are not robots, they are humans. In 1990s, we did not have today's technological capabilities. We owe our current situation to our martyrs. More than 5 thousand troops were martyred in the fight against terrorism," Gen. Basbug added.

The surrender comes as a result of Turkish government's efforts to launch a "democratic initiative" which is expected to be unveiled soon.

A group of PKK members had been expected to return to Istanbul from Germany on Oct 28.



Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2009, 14:18
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