No room for autonomy seekers, says Erdogan

29 Jan 2016 – HURRIYET / MESOP – Turkey’s president has blasted calls for autonomy for several southeastern Kurdish towns in a speech in Ankara on Jan. 28, making clear that there would be no room for autonomy seekers.

“It should be known that we will bring the whole world down on those who seek to establish a state within a state under the name of autonomy and self-governance,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Jan. 28 at the “All United for New Constitution” event at the ATO Congresium in the Turkish capital, Hurriyet daily reported.

A number of mayors and district mayors have appeared in court as they made statements calling for autonomy and leading figures from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been sued. Criminal investigations were launched against HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag as they made statements on self-governance.

“What do we say? One flag,” Erdogan said, adding that no flag other than the Turkish flag could fly in the sky while noting that its color was red because of the martyrdom of innumerable soldiers for the integrity of the Turkish homeland.Erdogan said the same action would be taken against autonomy seekers as was taken before against followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which leading figures from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan and his inner circle accuse of forming and heading a purported terrorist organization.

Turkey’s southeast, meanwhile, has been roiled by operations and curfews that have led to hundreds of casualties over the past month.