Turkish FM demands 'extradition' of PKK terrorists
EUROPE

Turkish FM demands 'extradition' of PKK terrorists

Turkey's demand in line with international law, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says

News Service AA
The Turkish foreign minister has demanded Thursday that Switzerland and other countries either take measures against PKK terrorists or extradite them.

"Our demands from Switzerland and other countries with regards to [the fight against] terrorism are totally within the scope of international law," Mevlut Çavuşoğlu told a press conference with his Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter in Switzerland's capital, Bern.

"We want measures taken against the PKK [...], or extradition of those terrorists within the framework of international law," he said, adding Turkey had demanded that the terrorists receive "necessary" punishment.

Cavusoglu said it was Turkey's "natural right" to ask Switzerland to take measures against people and institutions linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

He added that the Turkish community in Switzerland was under "great pressure" due to their condemnation of the terrorist acts of the PKK and the FETÖ.

FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, is accused of orchestrating Turkey's July 15 coup plot as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Burkhalter, for his part, said Switzerland paid "great" attention to the relations with Turkey.

"It is very important for us to maintain a political dialogue [with Turkey], as well as mutual relations, and to work together on the issues both in Turkey and in the region," he added.

- Turkey not responsible for chaos in Syria, Iraq

Earlier Thursday, Cavusoglu spoke to Swiss daily Die Neue Zurcher Zeitung, saying Turkey could not be blamed for the chaos in Syria and Iraq.

Asked about the rumors that some parts of Iraq and Syria might be integrated into territories of Turkey, Cavusoglu said territorial integrity was of great significance for Turkey.

"Was it Turkey who triggered the Arab Spring? Are we going to be responsible for Syria sliding into chaos? Was it us [Turkey] who demanded Iraq be occupied? No. Turkey has no designs on any [country's] territory," he said.

Cavusoglu also touched on the PYD/YPG issue between the U.S. and Turkey, saying "cooperating with a terrorist organization does not accord with the principles of a country that claims to fight terrorism, especially a NATO member ally of ours."

He warned the U.S. against the group. "YPG members attacked Turkey using suicide bombers. If the U.S. fails to meet the expectations of YPG, these terrorists will attack the U.S. as well," he said.

The PKK and its Syrian offshoot the PYD are both listed as terrorist groups by Turkey although the U.S. and EU only view the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Asked if mistrust between Turkey and the U.S. would affect the fight against Daesh, Cavusoglu said Turkey cooperated closely with the U.S. in many areas, including counter-terrorism.

"There are two points that we have not agreed on, however; their [Washington's] relations with the YPG, as the U.S equips them with weapons, which fall into the PKK's hands. Secondly Fetullah Gulen. Until they extradite this insane man -- who sees himself as the imam of the universe and who orchestrated the [July 15] coup attempt in Turkey -- our relations will suffer."

Asked about a new wave of refugees that might be triggered by the fight against Daesh and Turkey's deadline for the EU to implement an agreement on visa-free access, Cavusoglu said Turkey's patience "is coming to an end."

Turkey will cancel the migration deal with the European Union -- signed earlier this year -- if the bloc fails to grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens by the end of the year, he said.



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