04:27 GMT +323 November 2019
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, October 3, 2016. Picture taken October 3, 2016.

    Erdogan Doesn’t Mind Being Labeled Dictator, Says Europe Funds Terrorism

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    President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said November 6 that Europe is doing the world a disservice by supporting the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party), likening this support to promoting terrorism.

    According to Erdogan, some of the money and arms the West sends to Kurdish militants currently fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria end up in the hands of the PKK and are being used to kill Turks in organized terrorist attacks.

    On Sunday, Erdogan addressed the citizens of Turkey in a televised speech during which he aired his worst concerns.

    "Europe, as a whole, is abetting terrorism. Even though they declared the PKK a terrorist organization, this is clear…" he said, "We see how the PKK can act so freely and comfortably in Europe."

    On November 4, Turkey detained the leaders of the parliament's second-largest party, the left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for its supposed links to the PKK. The HDP party has now been caught up in the widely criticized purge Erdogan's government launched soon after the failed coup of mid-July and still hasn't concluded.

    The sweeping purge has already seen thousands of people in influential posts in the security, judiciary and education services arrested or dismissed from their positions.

    Many human rights advocates and government authorities in Western countries have accused Erdogan of taking advantage of the situation to eliminate political opposition.

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Ankara's actions "call into question the basis for the sustainable relationship between the EU and Turkey."

    Erdogan said during the speech that being branded a dictator by Europe doesn't bother him much, as a crackdown on the Kurdish militant group and its supporters continues.

    "What matters is what my people call me," he asserted.

    Erdogan defended Ankara's actions, saying parliamentarians behaving as terrorists would be treated as such. He added that Turkey's judiciary was independent and neither he nor anyone else had the right or authority to interfere in judicial processes.    

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    Tags:
    terrorism, failed coup, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Europe, Turkey
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