Turkish PM warns against further clashes in Cizre

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned to take action to stop violence in southeast of the country after Islamist and Kurdish groups clashed there. (File photo: Reuters)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday warned that the government would take action against any further violence in the southeast after three people were killed in fresh clashes between two rival Kurdish groups.

“We will stand firm ... against whoever dares to erode our unity through provocative actions,” Davutoglu told his ruling party supporters in the southern province of Hatay bordering Syria.

Three people were killed Saturday in the town of Cizre in the southeast in clashes between rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Sunni Muslim Huda-Par group.

Huda-Par is known to be the political extension of Turkish Hezbollah and has long abhorred the PKK -- which has fought Turkish security forces in a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish self-rule.

The motive for the clashes was not clear but a security source told AFP at the weekend that tensions were running high between the two groups since Friday night when the Huda-Par attacked Kurdish rebels’ tents in the town.

The rivalry between the PKK and the Huda-Par turned fierce in October when Islamic State insurgents were fighting Kurdish forces in the Syrian town of Kobane just across the Turkish border.

Turkey’s limited support against IS fighters infuriated Turkey's Kurds, who took to the streets on October 6 and 7, when dozens of people were killed in street fighting.

The trouble has cast a shadow over the fragile peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Ankara and its Western allies.

The Turkish government has since repeated its commitment to the peace process.

“God willing, we will lead the (Kurdish) solution process to success under any circumstances,” Davutoglu said Sunday in a televised speech to cheering crowds.

“We have taken and will continue to take any kind of measure against provocations,” he said.

“Turks and Kurds are brothers and whoever discriminates is treacherous.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44