Turkish PM tells European body to ‘mind its business’

Ankara—Turkey’s premier on Tuesday rebuffed the Council of Europe urging postponement of the nation’s early elections, saying it should “mind its own business.”

“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) should mind its own business. Turkey will hold the elections, not them,” Binali Yildirim told a news conference in Spain’s capital Madrid.

PACE’s monitoring committee on Tuesday called on Turkey to postpone the June 24 early elections, saying it should abide by the fundamental values of the Council of Europe.

Turkey’s parliament on Friday passed a bill calling for early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

Yildirim also slammed PACE for inviting former PYD/PKK terrorist co-leader Salih Muslim to an event on Monday.

“Bringing a terrorist there and let him give a speech contributes to neither peace nor the values of Europe.”

Muslim was arrested on Feb. 25 in Prague following Turkey’s request to the Czech Republic, but was released two days later.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian branch of the terrorist group PKK, which is responsible for over 40,000 deaths in a 30-year-plus terror campaign against Turkey.

Muslim, an influential figure of the PYD/PKK terrorist group, is being sought by a Turkish court on suspicion of his involvement in the planning of a 2016 terrorist attack in Ankara that left at least 37 people dead and 100 wounded. 

Bilateral ties

At the news conference, held after 6th Turkey-Spain Intergovernmental Summit, Yildirim touched on relations between Ankara and Madrid.

He said during the summit, participants discussed boosting economic and commercial investments, the fight against terrorism, and illegal migration.

Yildirim added that balanced trade is important between the two countries, saying the countries have the potential for much more trade.

On the fight against terrorism, he said both countries shared similar experiences.

“Both Spain and Turkey have been fighting an uphill battle against separatist terror organizations for years… So we touched on the importance of close cooperation between the two countries.”

He added that Turkey did not forget the support it got from Spain after the July 15, 2016, defeated coup.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup that July 15, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

For his part, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Europe needs to cooperate with Turkey in fight against terrorism.

“We underlined that we need to work together against common threats in the area of defense,” Rajoy said.

He stressed the importance of working together in order to make the Mediterranean a region of peace.

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