Turkey's Erdogan warns against all forms of separatist, calls unity

PM Erdogan said that "We are at equal distance to all belief groups as a democratic, secular and social state of law, although anti-AKP protests.

Turkey's Erdogan warns against all forms of separatist, calls unity
World Bulletin / News Desk

Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that "we are all one and united, with Turks, Kurds, Lazs, Circassians, Georgians and Abkhazians.

Erdogan with enthusiasm despite all calls by the Democratic Society party (DTP) to protest the visit and provocations of the PKK, Turkish newspaper Zaman reported. Erdogan said that those who tried to sabotage the current atmosphere of stability, would not reach their targets. "These lands need factories instead of guns," he said.

Anatolian agency repoted that, speaking at the congress of the AK Party in eastern province of Tunceli on Saturday, Erdogan stressed that his party is against ethnic, regional and religious nationalism.

He said that "Our roof is the citizenship of the Republic of Turkey."

"Everyone is free in their beliefs. We are at equal distance to all belief groups as a democratic, secular and social state of law. No one can divert us from such an understanding," Erdogan said.

He also emphasized that "where there is terror, there is pain, tear drops, poverty and hopelessness." Erdogan stressed that "violence is the biggest enemy of democracy, freedoms, justice, welfare and peace."

Prime Minister has accused the Democratic Society Party (DTP) to incite people to an uprising against the government and the Turkish state, Turkish newspaper Radikal said. "Inciting people to an uprising against the government and the state does not make any contribution to efforts to secure peace in this country," he said.

Erdogan said that "those who want tension do not care about production, democracy, and freedoms. Inciting people to uprise against the government is not a contribution to peace."

Abuse of children in pro-PKK protest

The participation of children in activities organized by supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) drew sharp reaction across the nation last week, prompting statements of condemnation from politicians, security forces and psychologists.

Kurdish citizens have been holding demonstrations since last weekend in protest of alleged illegal abuse and torture of the PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara. The illegal protests, mainly in the Southeast but also in İstanbul, left one Kurdish protester dead in the eastern city of Doğubeyazıt on Monday and several protesters and police officers wounded.

The appearance of children at the front lines of some of the events -- many of which were violent demonstrations involving clashes with police forces and property destruction -- disturbed many across the nation as citizens condemned the PKK for stopping at nothing, not even the exploitation of children, to perpetrate its campaign of terror.

In Diyarbakır last Tuesday, PKK supporters threw stones at an ambulance that was en route to the hospital carrying a pregnant woman. Faruk Seven, the driver of the ambulance, was injured in the attack. He said three separate groups of protestors attacked his vehicle: "The first group was children between the ages of 10 and 12. The second group was adults. … The third group of protestors was around the age of 18."

Children, though, are the most vulnerable members of society, and their participation in pro-PKK rallies and demonstrations, some of which turn violent, was cause for statements of disapprobation from psychologists across Turkey that were widely published in the Turkish press last week.

Professor Aytekin Sır, vice rector at Dicle University and a psychiatry instructor, said last week in an interview with the Anatolia news agency that parents were at fault when their children were in the streets participating in pro-terror provocations.

Professor said that "Children have innocent thoughts and suppositions and think of certain events taking place in the streets as a sort of game. They perceived these events as games and acted accordingly. … Children see their friends injured and are exposed to pepper spray gas. Children that come face-to-face with events like this will be filled with negative emotions. These experiences affect children's worldviews negatively. And it's inevitable that we see traces of antisocial behavior in children like this. This leads to a generation that doesn't recognize society's rules, doesn't listen to anyone, including their mothers and fathers, abuses drugs, doesn't stop at red lights and doesn't listen to what is taught in school. A generation like this will harm everybody. And, in the end, society will be harmed again. Children that are used in events like these will be inclined toward violence and when they grow older they will be a constant source of trouble."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ekim 2008, 12:02