World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed on Thursday what he called the “European Union’s double standards” over extremist groups such as the PKK and ISIL.
“If today, ISIL rags are not allowed at the European Parliament, PKK rags should not be allowed too,” Cavusoglu said during a press meeting after the opening of a new chapter on budget policy on Turkey’s accession into the EU on Thursday in Brussels.
“Extremist organizations can easily make their campaign in the center of Europe, and hang their posters, banners everywhere,” he said.
Cavusoglu was referring to a controversial tent raised in March by PKK supporters near the European Council building in Brussels. The PKK is listed a extremist organization by the EU, the U.S., and Turkey.
The PKK resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, nearly 600 security personnel, including troops, police officers, and village guards, have been martyred, and more than 5,000 PKK extremists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.
Cavusoglu noted that no distinction should be made between any extremist groups, saying it is not enough to show solidarity "only when there is a extrem attack."
“It is essential to show this solidarity also in the fight against extremism. For this, no distinction should be made between extrem organizations,” he said.
Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2016, 17:35
His remarks came after Istanbul’s main airport was hit by triple suicide bombings, which killed 43 people and wounded more than 200 on Tuesday night.
“Unfortunately, we see a double standard on freedom of expression. We need to be clear and have principles on these issues,” he said.
“In Europe, there are politicians and political parties who are supporting YPG and PKK extrem organizations, saying [they are] close to their ideologies,” he added.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey took into account the rule of law and human rights in its fight against extremism.
“[Turkey] carried out its operations very carefully, especially to avoid any damage on civilians,” he added.