UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM TURKISH PRESIDENT
By Baris Gundogan and Yildiz Nevin Gundogmus
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey has shown the door to three mayors who served terrorists rather than the people, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“If they leave the families of our martyrs outside the municipality office, and serve terrorists rather than people, we will also show them the door,” Erdogan said at an event in the capital Ankara.
Earlier this week, mayors of the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van were suspended. They are facing terrorism charges.
The mayors -- Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, Ahmet Turk, and Bedia Ozgokce Ertan -- are from the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a party Turkey's government has accused of having links to the PKK terror group.
Erdogan said Turkey cannot "sit and watch" those in cahoots with terrorists.
He slammed all those who stayed silent when similar issues recurred in countries like Spain and France, but raised a hue and cry when Turkey took similar security measures.
Erdogan added that this attitude was derived from their hostility toward Turkey, and not from their democratic approach.
- 'Turkey acts in line with security'
He noted that Turkey will act according to its security priorities, and take steps required for its future national interests.
Erdogan said in the fight against terrorism, which has been going on for almost 35 years, Turkey had to carry out continuous operations, including those on the borders with Iraq and Syria.
"The heroism of our soldiers, police officers, gendarmes and security guards in these operations will also be written in the golden pages of our history," he said.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has almost eliminated the terror threats within the borders, Erdogan said.
Also, he said, the country has broken the western wing of the terror corridor along the country's border.
"Turkey will put an end to the big game after breaking the eastern wing of this terror corridor following the ongoing negotiations," he said.
Erdogan said earlier Friday he discussed over the phone these issues with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, adding that he will also discuss these with U.S. President Donald Trump next week.
* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev and Diyar Guldogan