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Erdogan calls for NATO, EU support against PKK militants

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 delivers a speech during a ceremony for veterans and relatives of victims in Ankara on October 27, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey has called on NATO member states and the European Union (EU) to increase support for Ankara against militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

In an address to a meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he expected the support of NATO countries in Turkey's fight against "all terror groups", including members of the PKK, Daesh terrorists, and the plotters of Turkey’s failed July 15 coup.

Erdogan also warned the 28-member bloc of the consequences they may face over failure to tighten approach towards the PKK militants and other terrorist groups.

"Those who have a hesitant attitude against terrorist organizations will be hit themselves sooner or later," he said.

Militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) man a barricade in Sur district in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir on November 18, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale anti-PKK campaign in its southern border region over the past few months. The Turkish military has also been pounding the group’s positions in northern Iraq as well in breach of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants following the Turkish strikes against the group.

Erdogan’s call for more support in the fight against terrorists comes as Turkey, which is a NATO member, stands accused of supporting the militants wrecking havoc in Syria.

Turkey's coup plotters should be prosecuted under rule of law

During the Monday meeting, Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, emphasized the Western military alliance's "solidarity" with Turkey in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt and said Ankara "has the right" to prosecute those involved in the putsch.

A tank crashes a car as people take to the streets in Ankara, Turkey, during a protest against an attempted military coup on July 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Stoltenberg, however, noted that he had told Turkish leaders to take all measures within the rule of law to ensure human rights are protected.

The coup in Turkey began when a faction of the military declared it was in control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in charge.

Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul. Over 240 people were killed on all sides in the coup attempt.

European officials have been increasingly critical of Turkey's crackdown on people suspected of affiliation to US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 15 coup attempt.

Gulen has, however, censured the coup attempt and roundly rejected any involvement.

Some 110,000 people have been sacked or suspended in the civil service, army, judiciary and other institutions while 36,000 people have been jailed pending trial in the investigation of the abortive July 15 putsch.

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