Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the Turkish-Czech Republic Business Forum in Prague on Feb. 4, 2013.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has severely criticized members of the European Union that refuse to extradite wanted terrorists to Turkey in spite of bilateral conventions, calling on countries harboring such individuals to distance themselves from terrorists.
He said Turkey has repeatedly and consistently urged European countries to cooperate in the war on terrorism. “I have to say openly that in spite of the degree of pain experienced and number of people killed, some European countries still do not lend the necessary support to preventing inhumane terrorism; we aren’t seeing the necessary earnestness. Terrorists who commit the bloodiest murders in Turkey can walk freely in Europe. Although we inform [European countries] on the suspects behind terrorist groups and atrocious attacks, and back our claims with evidence, these people, unfortunately, are left completely untouched.”
Erdoğan said the terrorist who staged the suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara had residence in Germany and came to Turkey illegally. “Similarly, the terrorist who was killed in the Paris execution was being sought by Interpol. We wanted Germany to extradite her when she was detained in the country, but they didn’t. When it was established that she was in France, the French government was notified in writing — we didn’t even get a response,” said the prime minister, adding that the Paris example was one of many in regards to Europe’s lack of cooperation. Erdoğan was referring in his comments to one of three Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants killed in what appears to be an execution on Jan. 9 in a Paris building.
Erdoğan complained that, in most cases, authorities on the other end simply replied that they were “following these individuals.” He said instead, they should extradite these individuals: “It is us, our nation, that pays for this [terrorism]. We need to work against terrorism together, so that we can succeed against it. We no longer have any tolerance for such indifference and carelessness.”
He said it is time that Europe, the epitome of “democracy and respect for human rights and individual freedoms,” should distance itself from terrorist groups and individuals.
President Abdullah Gül also made a comment on the US Embassy attack on Monday. He said that the attack was carried out in spite of the readiness of police. Speaking to journalists after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, Gül said, “The National Police Department was on high alert, but unfortunately, it [the attack] could not be prevented.”
Gül expressed his regrets over the death of a security guard. “May he rest in peace. We are also following the situation of our journalist colleague who was wounded in the attack,” Gül said, referring to Didem Tuncay, a former NTV reporter who was visiting the embassy to meet with an official at the time of the attack. During his visit in the Czech Republic, Erdoğan told journalists that Tuncay was no longer in critical condition.