Erdogan: No difference between Daesh, PKK terrorists

By Fatih Hafız Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey sees no difference between Daesh and PKK terrorist groups, the country’s president said on Saturday in the German city of Cologne.

"We consider identical the Daesh savagery, which killed civilians in Berlin marketplace, and the PKK murderers, who martyred 11-month-old Bedirhan and his mother two months ago," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the inauguration ceremony of Cologne Central Mosque.

Erdogan also called for a common stance against racism.

He said some people try to link all Muslims, by labeling them "Islamist" or "Jihadist," with the terror groups that harmed and killed mostly the Muslims.

He said the youth are tried to be pulled into the trap of terrorism by groups such as Daesh, PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and racist groups, he also said, ignore the rights of Muslims.

"Will not allow a handful of PKK and FETO sympathizer incompetents to disturb our people and harm Turkish-German friendship," Erdogan added.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.

-'Extremely fruitful and successful' visit

Erdogan described his trip to Germany an “extremely fruitful and successful visit in a critical period”, adding that it also strengthened the Turkish-German friendship.

The president said the two countries need to focus on common interests and put clash of ideas aside.

Following his official meetings in Berlin on Saturday, Turkish President Erdogan had arrived the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has a large Turkish immigrant population.

Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.

Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, three million are of Turkish origin. Many of them are second or third-generations of Turkish families who migrated to Germany in the 1960s, and are well integrated in the country.