Erdogan’s Kurd Statemen’s Hit All the Wrong Notes

ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent use of the phrase "Kurdish problem," has landed him in hot water with not only Turkey’s political and military circles–but also his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

During a speech last Friday in Diyarbakir–Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast region–Erdogan pledged the Kurdish conflict in Turkey would be resolved with "more democracy," despite a marked increase in violence by armed Kurdish rebels whom Ankara considers "terrorists."

"The Kurdish problem is everybody’s problem–but above all mine," he said.

According to Turkish sources–the country’s military leaders reacted swiftly–opting for the term "terrorism problem," instead–and will take the issue to an August 23 session of Turkey’s National Security Council.

Military leaders are also concerned that during his Diyarbakir speech to a 1,000 people–Erdogan conceded that the Turkish state had made "certain errors and injustices" in the past in handling the situation in the southeast.

They say that this only weakens the fight against "successionist" terrorists–and advise the prime minister to use vocabulary that is agreed to after consultations.

The discord within Erdogan’s AKP party–also spurred by the prime minister’s vocabulary–was echoed by AKP parliament members who complained of the prime minister’s "strange" expression.

Erdogan reacted to the characterization–calling it "ugly."

"They should have conferred with me before making such announcemen’s," he said. "If they don’t adapt to our symphony–then cacophony is created."

One AKP member of parliament snapped back: "If the conductor of a symphony does not come to an agreement with his musicians–you have cacophony."

Speaking at a ceremony in Istanbul Tuesday to mark the fourth anniversary of the founding of his Justice and Development Party (AKP)–Erdogan criticized some parties represented in the parliament and others for trying to get political mileage out of the conflict–saying that politics should not be made out of the blood of martyrs


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