Turkish president accuses Europe of backing terrorism

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ISTANBUL, March 18 (Xinhua) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused European countries of backing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) outlawed by Turkey.

In a televised speech marking the 101st anniversary of the Gallipoli Battle in Turkey’s western city of Canakkale, the president criticized Belgium for allowing PKK supporters to pitch tents behind the European Council building in Brussels prior to a summit between the European Union and Turkey.

“This is called surrendering to terrorism,” he said, warning that there is no reason to believe that a bomb that exploded in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, will not explode in Brussels.

“Despite this clear reality, European countries are paying no attention, as if dancing in a minefield,” the Turkish leader said. “You can never know when you are stepping on a mine, but it is clear that this is an inevitable end.”

A car laden with explosives exploded on Sunday at the heart of Ankara, killing 37 people. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a radical Kurdish group linked to PKK, has claimed responsibility, as it had for another car bombing that killed 29 in the capital in February.

Turkish security forces have been fighting against PKK militants in the country’s southeast since July last year, where the group is seeking to establish an autonomous region.

The PKK has been listed as a terrorist group as well by the EU and the United States.

The EU-Turkey summit was aiming to flesh out a deal seeking to stem the flow of migrants into European countries via Turkey.

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