Turkish army chief says anti-secular actions continue

Hurriyet English with wires
04 Nisan 2008 - 16:18Son Güncelleme : 04 Nisan 2008 - 16:27

Turkish army chief said on Thursday religious issues had always been exploited by certain circles and formations since the foundation of the republic, warning "circles continued their anti-secular actions."

"Reactionary circles continued their anti-secular actions through legal associations, foundations, etc. both in Turkey and abroad", Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told the April issue of the Turkish Defense and Aviation Magazine.

Buyukanit said the aim of the secessionist terrorist movement in Turkey (PKK) was destruction of the nation-state and its unitary structure and the demand for a constitutional guarantee to ethnic identities directly targeted the nation-state.

"When we look at the security aspect of the issue, we see that PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization which was on the verge of disintegration in the late 90's accelerated its violent attacks by taking advantage of the lack of authority and atmosphere of chaos in Iraq. It turned the northern parts of Iraq into a safe-haven for itself," he said.

Asked how a permanent solution could be achieved, Buyukanit said, "Terrorism has economic, social and political dimensions as well as its security dimension. Terrorism can only be eliminated with a fight comprising all those dimensions."

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