World Bulletin / News Desk
"Sports is an important tool to defeat terrorism. [We should] guide children to sports halls instead of the mountains," Osman Askin Bak said, referring to hideouts of the PKK terrorist organization.
His remarks came in an interview at the Anadolu Agency Editor's Desk.
"Turkey is establishing serious sports facilities through municipalities appointed trustee by the government in eastern and southeastern Turkey," Bak said.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
More than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children, have been killed since July 2015 alone when the group resumed its armed campaign against the country.
Speaking about “People's Garden” project, Bak said: "It offers an insight into environmentalism and societal urban life."
The People’s Garden Project converts old stadiums and airports into parks.
Speaking about the president's national Kiraathane project, he said: "The Kiraathane would provide a quiet environment where young people can study and have a cup of tea."
Kiraathane, which literally means reading houses, are traditional places in Turkish culture dating back to the Ottoman era where people used to drink tea and coffee while reading books, newspapers and magazines.
On June 7, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled his proposal for the reading houses.
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Ahead of the Helsinki meeting, here is a selection of remarks the two world leaders have made about each other.