22 June 2016 – MESOP – Anti-PKK operations over, time to settle accounts with the HDP, Turkish PM says

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has declared the end of military operations in Turkey’s southeast and said the government is entering a “second phase” by launching a massive campaign for the reconstruction of cities damaged by clashes between the security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Now the operations are over, there will be physical and social renovation. We are replacing destroyed buildings with more beautiful ones. Work is underway,” Yildirim said during his parliamentary address to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on July 21, Hurriyet daily reported.Ankara also plans to take legal action against municipalities and mayors from the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who are alleged to have transferred state resources to the PKK, he added. “As we have ended our operations, there are now some other steps we should take. It’s time to settle accounts with the municipalities supporting terrorism. You transfer the money allocated to you for public services to the terror organization. But we won’t allow this,” Yildirim said. “As soon as possible, we’ll ask these local governors to pay the price for not using the state means given to them for the people,” he added.

The alleged financial and logistical support of HDP municipalities to the PKK was brought to the agenda of the cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 20.

Prime Minister Yildirim said the government would soon be introducing a bill to prevent this support from municipalities and mayors to the PKK, slamming local officials for having a “direct relationship with terrorists.” “You talk about democracy. You go from door to door abroad to complain about Turkey. Instead of doing this, you should go to the people to confess that you were wrong,” he said. Yildirim also accused the HDP and PKK of “trying to prevent the government from serving the people of the region.”  “Success lies not in hindering services to the people, but finding solutions to their problems. Success is removing obstacles in front of the people and not digging trenches for war,” he added.