Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that Turkey is seeking cooperation with peshmerga forces in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) along its border with northern Iraq.
Speaking during a news conference in Ankara after meeting with the editors-in-chief of the country’s leading media outlets, Erdoğan said he had requested Nechirvan Barzani, the number two of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq, visit Turkey in a phone call he made to Massoud Barzani, the leader of northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish government. “I told him that we have to sit down with them and evaluate the situation. Because I said we have things that need to be done with peshmergas as well. I said this very openly to him,” he said.
Recalling that Nechirvan Barzani met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Thursday morning and was scheduled to meet with him in the afternoon, Erdoğan said he would discuss Turkey’s counterterrorism plans. “These attacks are not just against Turkey but against Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood. This is a process which aims to destroy our brotherhood. We have to come over this together,” the Turkish prime minister added.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Davutoğlu on Thursday, Barzani also vowed further cooperation with Turkey against the PKK. He said he rushed to Ankara to offer the condolences of the Kurdish regional government to Turkey. Stating that they believe that such attacks do not serve the interests of either the Turkish or Kurdish people, he said such attacks should not damage Kurdish-Turkish relations. Stating that bilateral meetings with Turkish officials will be held more often, Barazani underscored that the regional administration’s cooperation with Turkey will expand in many areas.
20 October 2011, Thursday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,