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Türkiye will take further steps if Iraq’s PUK party fails to change stance on PKK terrorists, says foreign minister

Türkiye will not shrink from taking additional steps if one of the government parties in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region fails to change its supportive attitude towards PKK terrorists, the Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday.

“We will not hesitate to take further measures if the PUK does not change its supportive attitude towards the PKK despite our sanctions against Sulaymaniyah in Iraq,” said Hakan Fidan, speaking of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party, the junior partner in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Addressing the Turkish parliament, Fidan said a consultation process with Iraqi authorities continues, with great efforts being made to help their evolving understanding of PKK terrorists.

He reiterated that Türkiye will not leave the separatist terrorist group anyplace to feel safe along its borders or elsewhere.

PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq to plot cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

Fidan’s remarks came in the wake of fresh PKK attacks in recent days taking the lives of 21 Turkish soldiers, followed by fierce Turkish attacks on terrorist targets in northern Iraq and Syria.

Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Lock in April 2022 to target the PKK terror organization’s hideouts in Iraq’s northern Metina, Zap, and Avasin-Basyan regions near the Turkish border.

It was preceded by Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding out in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Türkiye.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, UK, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.