Erdogan shifts to a harder Kurdish policy
Either stay in the Parliament and earn respect, or go to the Kandil Mountains, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan challenged the Kurdish problem-focused Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) members of Parliament on Sunday, in a speech to the provincial chairmen of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti).
A range located along the Iranian border of Iraq, Kandil is a byword in Turkish politics for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has had its headquarters and military camps there for nearly twenty years, from where it has carried out an armed campaign that has claimed more than 40,000 lives in the last three decades.
For some time, Erdogan has been accusing the BDP parliamentarians of being "tools” and the "extended arms” of the PKK, lacking any initiative independent of the PKK and failing to clearly condemn the PKK for its acts of terror. In his Sunday speech, he escalated his rhetoric against the BDP: "You will either serve the people who have voted for you, or serve your armed masters,” he said. (...)