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Turkey denies claims of ignoring Daesh

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Presidential spokesman repeats denials that Turkey not doing enough to combat Daesh militants

Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Tuesday refuted claims that Turkey is not doing anything to fight against the Daesh.

“Claims that Turkey does not condemn Daesh terrorist acts or has not launched any operations against its members are totally false,” Ibrahim Kalin told Anadolu Agency.

“Turkey listed Daesh as a terrorist organization in October 2013 and since then has deported around 1,600 foreign nationals who have been found to have ties with it.”

He added that more than 15,000 people suspected of seeking to join the extremist group have been banned from entering Turkey.

Kalin criticized those who failed to denounce attacks committed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — considered a terrorist group in Turkey, the EU and the U.S. — but instead “legitimize” the group. The PKK has waged a 30-year war against the Turkish state that has seen more than 44,000 people killed.

Referring to Monday’s suspected suicide bomb attack in Suruc, which has been widely blamed on Daesh, Kalin said it was “regrettable that some politicians use this attack as an opportunity to provoke citizens for political interests and plant seeds of animosity”.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has criticized the government for stoking tensions and on Tuesday attacked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for not cutting short an official trip to Northern Cyprus in the wake of the attack.

Demirtas also castigated Erdogan for not offering his condolences to the families of the victims, blaming the HDP for the attack and supporting Daesh — all charges that Kalin said were “unacceptable fictitious claims and deliberate distortions”.

He added: “Contrary to Demirtas’ claims, President Erdogan made a statement yesterday [Monday] where he openly and fiercely condemned the terrorist attack in Suruc and stressed that the perpetrators would be found and punished whoever they may be.”

Resource: Anadolu Agency, July 22, 2015

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