Erdogan vows to continue Turkey’s fight against terror

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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey's fight against terrorism would continue in eastern Turkey as well as the Qandil mountain in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

    Addressing the Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, Erdogan highlighted Turkey's determination in its fight against the PKK terror group.

    "We will not get out from [southeastern mountains of] Cudi, Gabar, Bestler-Dereler, Tendurek, and Qandil," said Erdogan.

    "We will continue to do what is necessary for our nation's tranquility. We will also do what is necessary in the northern part of Syria."

    Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the terror group has its main base in the Mt. Qandil region, near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when the PKK resumed its armed campaign.

    The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the U.S. and EU. In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people have been killed, including women and children.

    Erdogan also said that 4,272 terrorists have been neutralized in Syria's Afrin region, 258 in Turkey, 353 in northern Iraq since the begin of Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20.

    Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.

    State of emergency

    On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.

    According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

    Erdogan also defended Turkey's ongoing state of emergency that was extended on Wednesday for the seventh time.

    "In this process, there is an environment of tranquility. They are demanding the state of emergency to be lifted in such environment," he said.

    "Why? Because their game will be spoiled; for this reason, we will not let you subvert the order."

    Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, following the defeated coup by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

    FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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