Ankara : Turkish President Abdullah Gul has called for a comprehensive fight against terrorism, local media reported on Friday.
Gul made the call in an interview on state-run TRT-1 channel late Thursday after a strong blast in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir.
Diyarbakir, which is the biggest city in mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey, is home to large numbers of Turkish troops who are fighting banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels both inside Turkey and in neighboring Iraq.
Gul said on the TV program that terrorism is the most serious problem of Turkey and it is a matter of life and death, adding “therefore, the government, civilians and soldiers cannot stay away from each other regarding such a big matter.”
What is important is to be determined and prepared to combat terrorism and to eliminate all environments that can be misused by terrorists, he stressed.
The Turkish president, meanwhile, criticized the United States for “late in cooperating when terrorism escalated” though it is anally of Turkey and a country cooperating with Turkey against terrorism.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that terrorism showed its bloody face again in Diyarbakir and Turkey will continue fight terrorism with determination on both national and international dimensions.
The Turkish military has massed up to 100,000 troops near the mountainous Iraqi border and has recently launched several cross-border attacks to battle separatist PKK rebels, who use northern Iraq as a launch pad for attacks against Turkey.
The PKK, listed by the United States and Turkey as a terrorist group, took up arms against Turkey in 1984 with the aim of creating an ethnic homeland in the southeast. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the over-two-decade conflict.