Erdoğan Calls on Europe to Step Up Cooperation Against PKK Terrorism
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, urged Western countries to stand more firmly against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a call Merkel responded to with a promise for better cooperation with Turkey.
“There should not be a terrorist organization backed by the West,” Erdoğan said at a joint news conference. He lamented that many Western countries do not extradite people wanted in Turkey on terrorism charges despite extradition agreements they have with Turkey even though his government frequently approves the extradition of criminals to these countries, including Germany and France, under the same agreements. “We expect the extradition of such criminals,” he said.
However, he said he has received assurances from Merkel that Germany will increase its support for Turkey’s efforts to combat the PKK, adding that the relevant ministries of the two countries have been given instructions to work on joint steps. Merkel, for her part, said Germany is ready to support Turkey in its anti-terrorism efforts.
Erdoğan has repeatedly complained about European reluctance to better cooperate with Turkey in its efforts to combat the PKK. Before his visit to Germany, Erdoğan said on Tuesday that Germany is of key importance to PKK activities in Europe, noting that several PKK offshoots operate in Germany under different names and raise funds for the terrorist group.