EU counter-terrorism coordinator set to visit Turkey to discuss joint measures against PKK
The European Union has reacted positively to Turkey's push for stronger international cooperation in its fight against escalating terrorist PKK attacks. EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove is set to arrive in Ankara for talks to discuss areas of cooperation in the fight against terrorism. During their talks with Kerchove, Turkish officials are expected to tell him about EU countries' failure to sufficiently support Turkey's efforts against the terrorist group, as well as to decry how a TV station acting as a PKK mouthpiece is still broadcasting from an EU country. In related news, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday called for more concrete steps, not mere intelligence-sharing, from the US and neighboring Iraq in the fight against the terrorist PKK. Referring to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent remarks that trilateral mechanisms between the US, Turkey and Iraq to combat the terrorist PKK should go beyond intelligence-sharing, Cicek said efforts were underway towards that end. Expressing his hope that those efforts would yield effective results, Cicek said the extradition of terrorist PKK criminals to Turkey is the foremost such step. In light of how the terrorist group has bases in northern Iraq where it also holds its annual congress, said Cicek, this means the US, the central Iraqi government, and the regional northern Iraqi administration can do much more to help Turkey's anti-terror efforts. He also urged EU countries to either try or extradite terrorist PKK criminals.