Oomen-Ruijten on PKK attacks: Every country has right to defend itself

Ria Oomen-Ruijten, European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, has said every country had a right to defend itself and its citizens as she commented on Turkey’s incursion in northern Iraq following the latest attack by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that killed 24 troops and injured 18 others.

Ria Oomen-Ruijten

Ria Oomen-Ruijten

Oomen-Ruijten said she strongly condemns the attack and those “irresponsible people” as well.

Oomen-Ruijten was having lunch with Turkish Ambassador to the EU, Selim Kuneralp, when she received the news.

Oomen-Ruijten spoke to Today’s Zaman before ahead of her trip to Turkey to have meetings with Turkish officials. Expressing her disappointment with the stance of pro-Kurdish deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on the terror attacks, she once again called on BDP deputies to distance themselves from terrorism.

“People are fed up. Terror must stop. I hope that the recent climate of cooperation, talks and negotiations will not be badly affected,” she said.

Stressing that the majority of European Parliament members have made it loud and clear that the PKK is a terrorist organization and its activities are unacceptable. Oomen-Ruijten said the EU and member states has to intensify their cooperation with Turkey to combat terrorism.

In an interesting note, European Parliament rappporteur also said she was wondering who was behind the PKK. Asked if she thought there was a state, she replied “could be” but refused to further elaborate and give spesific names.

She several times stressed her hope that political dialogue to sort out the problem will not be stopped and said people from the region should not be punished as a result of these incidents who had already much suffered.

Helene Flautre, co-chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, also reacted to the today terrorist attacks in Hakkari. She said she strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Hakkari and “would like to express my sincere condolences to the victims and their relatives.”

She urged for the constant and firm commitment of the Turkish society and authorities for democracy.

“These inacceptable terrorist acts should not lead to deteriorating human rights and rule of law. If nothing can justify the PKK’s indiscriminate and repeated attacks, I would like to reiterate the solution to the Kurdish question is not to be found in violence bidding but remains in a political and constructive dialogue,” she underlined.




19 October 2011, Wednesday / SELÇUK GÜLTAŞLI , BRUSSELS