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Turkey: West must treat terror groups equally

Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir has lashed out what he perceives to be a difference of treatment by the Western community towards different terrorist groups.

Bozkir was speaking after attending an informal meeting of ministers and state secretaries for European affairs, held by the Council of the European Union term president, Luxembourg.

“Either in Europe or in the wider Western community, it is unacceptable to distinguish between the terror that does me harm and the one that does not,” he told journalists in Luxembourg on Friday.

His remarks followed early morning airstrikes by Turkish F-16 fighter jets on Daesh targets in Syria after a cross-border firefight with Daesh militants that killed one Turkish soldier Thursday.

“For us, PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party], DHKP-C [far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front], Daesh and al-Qaeda are all terrorist groups equally. Turkey has never made such a distinction,” he said, adding that Turkey expects the same stance from EU countries and the Western world.

The PKK is listed by Turkey, the U.S. and EU as a terrorist organization. The DHKP-C was mostly active during the Cold War era, but the group has revived its attacks in recent years. It was involved in the killing of a senior prosecutor in Istanbul in March.

“If [EU countries] go on with making distinctions, it will yield graver results. We are not happy that the concerns we have long been voicing are all happening. We expect more than ever to see the Western and European states standing by us,” he added.

Bozkir also said Turkey welcomed the solidarity messages by other country representatives, during the EU ministers meeting, condemning the recent wave of terror attacks that hit Turkey’s southern border region.

Since the early hours of Friday, a total of suspects 297, including at least 37 foreigners, have been detained across Turkey in a nationwide anti-terror operation.

Many of those detained are thought to be linked to groups like Daesh, the PKK and its youth wing, or the DHKP-C.

The operations came after a major escalation in tensions in Turkey’s southern border region, including a suicide bomb attack, which killed 32 people on Monday and the killing, two days later, of two police officers in the same region.

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