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Erdogan urges Europe to support Ankara's anti-PKK campaign

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the Brookings Institution in Washington, the United States, on March 31, 2016. (© AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on European countries to support Ankara’s military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following a bomb attack, which hit Turkish forces in southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

"We have regrettably lost seven members of the security forces who have lost their lives and we have 14 injured," he told an audience at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, the United States.

He added, "We cannot tolerate this anymore. European countries and other countries, I hope they can see the true face of terrorists in these attacks."

Erdogan further stated that the whole world must come together to fight the scourge of terrorism.

He noted that the PKK militants, against whom Turkish military forces are fighting, are as dangerous as members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, who are operating mainly in Iraq and neighboring Syria and wreaking havoc in the two Middle Eastern Arab nations.

The Turkish president also denounced Western support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) just because they are battling Daesh militants in conflict-ridden Syria.

“YPG is a gang of terrorists. Another group is fighting against Daesh so they are 'good terrorists? This is unacceptable to us. These are the organizations that are auxiliaries of the PKK,” Erdogan argued.

A member of the police special forces stands next to vehicles, which were damaged by a car bomb attack that targeted a minibus (not pictured) carrying members of the police special forces, in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, on March 31, 2016. (© Reuters)

Earlier on Thursday, seven police officers were killed and more than two dozen people, including 14 civilians, injured when a bomb went off as a police patrol car was passing in the Baglar district of Diyarbakir Province.

Separately, a police officer lost his life during clashes between security forces and PKK terrorists in the Yuksekova district of Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari on Thursday.

A Turkish army soldier also succumbed to the injuries sustained during an anti-PKK operation in the province of Mardin.

Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the soldier died at Nusaybin State Hospital on Thursday after being injured by the explosion of an improvised explosive device in the Dicle district of the province.

A ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed last July and attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

People walk among rubble and damaged buildings in the Sur district of Diyarbakir Province, southeastern Turkey, on December 11, 2015. (© AFP)

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past few months. The Turkish military has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the group in northern Iraq and Syria.

The operations began in the wake of a deadly July 2015 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. 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, engaged in a series of attacks against Turkish police and security forces, prompting the Turkish military operations.

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