Turkiye to Fight PKK
(Ebru News/AP) Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkiye will fight Iraq-based Kurdish terrorists when it is needed, regardless of international pressure.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a flag-waving crowd in the western city of Izmit that he would not be constrained by other nations in deciding on a cross-border offensive - despite international concerns that an incursion would destabilize northern Iraq.
"Whenever an operation is needed to be carried out, we will do that. We do not need to ask anything from anyone for that," Erdogan said.
On Friday, Turkiye's military chief said Turkiye would wait until Erdogan met US President George Bush on November 5 in Washington before deciding on any cross-border offensive.
But Erdogan on Saturday said that his country could not be pinned down by dates.
Talks between Iraqi and Turkish officials on Friday failed to produce any breakthroughs and the Iraqi delegation returned home on Saturday.
Turkiye's foreign minister said Turkiye was pushing the Iraqi government to take measures that would yield results quickly and added that proposals offered by the Iraqi delegation in Ankara were only long-term proposals.
Nationalist fervor has increased in Turkiye; flags and images of modern Turkiye's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are draped over balconies, displayed in the backs of cars and sold by street vendors.
Thousands demonstrated in Turkish cities on Saturday, condemning the PKK and pressing for action.
At the same time, military helicopters shuttled more troops into the mountains near Iraq, while patrols secured roads and checkpoints.
For months, Turkiye has demanded more action from the US and Iraq in the fight against the PKK - which Washington and the European Union have labeled a terrorist group.
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