Turkey will take steps to fight Iraq-based Kurdish rebels “when needed,” regardless of international pressure, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today.
“Whenever an operation is needed to be carried out, we will do that,” Erdogan told a Turkish flag-waving crowd in the western city of Izmit.
“We do not need to ask anything from anyone for that. Some (countries) might have other wishes, but we make our decisions on our own.”
Turkey has been under pressure from the US, Iraq and other countries to refrain from a cross-border offensive against Kurdish PKK rebels based in northern Iraq.
Earlier Erdogan criticised EU countries for not extraditing Kurdish rebels to Turkey, saying they were failing to support Turkey’s struggle.
“No EU country has extradited members of the PKK to Turkey, despite labelling it as a terrorist organisation,” he said in a nationally televised speech. He did not name any specific country.
Turkey says the separatist rebels take refuge and raise money in western Europe.