( Cihan ) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his government would authorize a military cross-border operation into northern Iraq to crack down on PKK terrorists if required.
"We are continuing discussions with the armed forces. If needed we will take the necessary steps (for a cross-border operation) because we cannot allow the PKK any longer to carry out attacks," Erdogan said in an interview aboard his plane during campaigning in eastern Turkey late on Tuesday.
Ankara, a key U.S. ally in NATO, wants Iraqi authorities and the United States to crack down on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which attacks targets inside Turkey from bases in mountainous, mainly Kurdish northern Iraq.
Asked whether he believed Iraqi and U.S. authorities would honor promises to combat the PKK, Erdogan -- speaking via an interpreter -- gave a lukewarm response: "I wish to remain positive."