Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:52PM
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony in the coastal town of Çanakkale, March 18, 2016. (AFP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony in the coastal town of Çanakkale, March 18, 2016. (AFP)

 

Using the momentum of fear created by a recent deadly attack in Ankara that was claimed by a Kurdish group, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned European countries that they could become a victim of such attacks.

"There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara cannot explode in Brussels, in any other European city," Erdogan said during a Friday speech in the coastal town of Çanakkale. "The snakes you are sleeping with can bite you any time," he said using the word 'snakes' as a metaphor for the supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

His remarks came after supporters of the PKK militant group were allowed to set up protest tents outside the European Union building in Brussels, where EU-Turkey meetings on refugees were held on Thursday and Friday.

European countries are “dancing in a minefield” by directly or indirectly backing militant groups, Erdogan noted.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) militant group, which is affiliated to the PKK, claimed responsibility for the car bombing in the Turkish capital on March 13 that killed 37 people.

Police, firefighters, and emergency services work at the site of a blast in the Turkish capital Ankara, March 13, 2016. (AFP)

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its Kurdish-majority southeastern region over the past few months. The Turkish military has also been conducting offensive operations against the positions of the group in northern Iraq.

The campaign began following a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruç. More than 30 people died in the attack, which the Turkish government blamed on the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

After the bombing, the PKK militants, who accuse the government in Ankara of supporting Daesh, carried out a number of reprisal attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.

Ankara’s attacks against the PKK voided a shaky ceasefire declared in 2013 between the government and the militants, who have been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since 1980s.