President Erdoğan Condemns the Attack on Turkish Forces
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that the clashes were ongoing between the Turkish troops and 25 terrorists.
He said: “I strongly condemn this attack on our security forces who work selflessly to ensure the security of our people.”
“The attack aims to shatter the environment of peace in the country, and sabotage the reconciliation process,” he said, referring to the government initiative launched in early 2013 to settle the Kurdish issue and secure an end to the decades-old conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK which has so far claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
He also warned a political party, without giving names, against using arms to get votes in the upcoming June 7 elections.
“This party is trying to procure votes through the activities of this terrorist organization. The way to democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms is not through weapons; it is through the ballot box,” he said.
The Turkish Armed Forces are “duly responding to the treacherous attack” in Ağrı, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Twitter.
Davutoğlu said that he had been in contact with the Chief of Staff and Interior Ministry authorities.
“Have no doubt. The security of the elections, where our people will vote with their free will, will surely be provided,” Davutoğlu said.
The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairman Selahattain Demirtaş also commented on the incident, saying it was “upsetting” and “worrisome” and it had to be investigated further. He said, if Turkey is embracing the reconciliation process, it is because the arms should be silenced, no one should die, and get injured.