Turkish Foreign Ministry slams EP’s Piri over PKK remarks

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Kati Piri

Ankara has harshly criticized Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Turkey, for remarks made about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The European Parliament’s Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri’s statement that ‘the PKK does not constitute a threat for Europe’ is in fact the confession of the double-standards and hypocrisy we have long tried to point out,” Hami Aksoy, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a written statement on Monday.

“Such statement also overshadows the respectability of the European Parliament. It is regrettable that a person who has not been able to comprehend the indivisible nature of European security and the importance of unhesitant cooperation against terrorist organisations is serving as Rapporteur at the European Parliament,” Aksoy said.

“It is unacceptable that someone who does not view as a threat one of the terrorist organisations posing the biggest threat to Turkey is the rapporteur for our country.”

“Here is the issue; for us, the Kurdish militia, the PKK and its variations are not a threat. There are no attacks of PKK in the Netherlands, Belgium or France. For us, when it comes to Syria, apart from the humanitarian catastrophe the threat is ISIS,” the Ahval news website quoted Piri as saying in an exclusive interview last weekend.

Responding to the reactions from Turkey, Piri tweeted on Monday: “As the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur, I occasionally give interviews to Turkish media on EU-Turkey relations. Not for the first time have my statements been taken out of context and used for political goals.”

“Piri’s statement that her remarks were twisted is too little, and too late since it was only made as a response to our initial reaction,” Aksoy said in his statement.

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