Turkish PM in London talks on border crisis
( Irna ) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in the UK on Monday amid fears that his country's military may cross the Iraqi border to attack Kurdish separatists.
During his visit, Erdogan was due to hold talks with his British counterpart Gordon Brown as well as making a speech at Oxford University, 80 kms west of London.
In an interview with the Times newspaper, the Turkish premier warned that his country did not require any permission to do "whatever is necessary" following the reported killing of at least 17 more Turkish soldiers by the PKK, the Kurdish Workers' Party. He also criticized the US-led war in Iraq as causing disastrous consequences and said that his government had told President George W.
Bush how sensitive was the issue of the Kurdish separatists but that "up till now we have not had a single positive result." "The United States came to Iraq from tens of thousands of kilometers away. Why and for what purpose it came I cannot say.
Whether it has so far been successful I cannot say. But if you ask me my personal opinion - there's no success," Erdogan said.
"There is just the death of ten of thousands of people. There is just an Iraq whose entire infrastructure and superstructure has collapsed," he said.
The Turkish prime minister also said his country was "sad to see American weapons being found in the possession of the terror organisation acting against Turkey" and warned that there was a "serious wave of anti-Americanism" that was growing fast." "This did not happen overnight for no reason. The developments in Iraq are very important here. In this case the American administration should think about why there are such developments in Turkey," he warned.
On Sunday, the British government expressed its "complete solidarity with the Government, Armed Forces and people of Turkey," when condemning the latest PKK attacks.
"Let us be clear. The PKK is trying to destroy the Turkish Government's efforts to improve the situation of people in the south east of the country, provoke conflict between Turkey and Iraq and damage regional stability," Foreign Secretary David Miliband said.
"The Turkish Government is right to seek a solution through dialogue with the Iraqi Government. We support the continuation of those efforts and urge the Iraqi Government, with the support of the Kurdish Regional Government, to take the necessary steps to prevent the use of Iraqi territory for these purposes," he said.
The British foreign secretary called on "all in the region, especially Iraq, to express their disgust at these attacks. I call on the international community to be unequivocal in its condemnation of PKK terrorism and to support Turkey in restoring stability."