- The definition of “terrorists” needs to be broadened to include supporters of terrorism, who are equally guilty, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has argued in the aftermath of the third major suicide bomb attack to hit Ankara in the past five months.
“Their titles as an MP, an academic, an author, a journalist do not change the fact that they are actually terrorists. An act of terror is successful because of these supporters, these accomplices” Erdoğan told reporters and an audience of medics during a dinner to celebrate doctor's day on March 14.
“It's not only the person who pulls the trigger, but those who made that possible who should also be defined as terrorists” he added.
The gist of the matter was not freedom of speech or freedom of the press, the president claimed, but rather counter-terrorism.
“Some circles, at home and abroad, are at a junction. They will either side with us, or with terrorists. There is no middle way” he said.
Erdoğan had previously urged the Turkish parliament and the judiciary to take steps to lift the immunities of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies.
A summary of proceedings asking for the removal of the immunities of five HDP deputies, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, was submitted to the parliament speaker on March 9.