ISTANBUL (Hurriyet)—The Turkish Army is determined to wipe out the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the military’s Chief of General Staff, Ilker Basbug, said on Monday.
“This problem can only be solved with the collective efforts of all nations and in particular allied nations,” said Basbug at the start of the two-day Silk Road 2009 General/Admiral seminar. “We believe that countries need to merge their positions and politics and adopt a common stance,”
“Our aim while fighting terrorism is to end all hopes of the terrorists and their supporters. We believe that alongside the fight against terrorism, state actions in the economic, socio-cultural, security, propaganda and international relations fields form a whole and complement each other,” said Basbug.
“However, for terrorist organizations to believe they can hang on to their arms and only seek economic and socio-cultural change is wrong and that is why we are very determined to fight the terrorist organization until it is disbanded and lays down arms,” he said.
A total of 119 participants are attending the seminar, which is being held for the tenth year, and include military representatives from NATO and European Union countries.
Basbug said following the Cold War the biggest threat posed to the alliance comes from asymmetric threats, the biggest of them being terrorism.
“Terrorism does not just take the lives of innocent people, it also threatens common human values like democracy, freedom and human rights,” said Başbuğ.
“Whatever the source or the reason countries need to cooperate to tackle terrorism. It does not prove enough if any one country attempts to root out terrorism by itself,” he said. Basbug hailed joint NATO programs and said they helped improve security and strengthen NATO’s borders.
He said it is important to have more cooperation with the United Nations and EU to be able to handle new problems that arise.
Pointing to NATO operations in Afghanistan he said success would not only be important for Afghanistan itself but would also be a sign of NATO’s future and its capability to deal with 21st century problems.
Basbug said Turkey has not only provided assistance to NATO in operations but has provided vital leadership, too.