ANKARA (AFP)–Turkey’s military command has accused some EU countries, in particular France and the UK, of acting in a way that supports Kurdish militants, NTV reported on Tuesday.
Turkey, a NATO member with European Union membership aspirations, has long sought to put an end to attacks from northern Iraq carried out by militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
"The position of and actions by a number of EU countries, including our allies, enable the terrorist organization [PKK] to look for new bases for operations," the TV channel quoted Gen. Ergin Saygun, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, as saying.
He said that although the EU had recently taken "encouraging steps in standing up to the PKK," the group’s representatives and sympathizers "are conducting propaganda campaigns in the European parliament, as well as in the French and U.K. parliamen’s."
"Providing support to separatists, including in activities such as these, is tantamount to sharing responsibility with the terrorists for material damages caused to Turkey, and for the deaths of people in its fight against terrorism."
On November 30, Turkey’s government authorized the military to conduct a cross-border operation against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, following parliament’s approval in mid-October.
The country has deployed about 100,000 troops on the border with Iraq, according to army sources.