President Erdoğan performs Friday prayer in Istanbul

President Erdoğan performs Friday prayer in Istanbul

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan performed Friday prayer at Hz. Ali Mosque in Istanbul.

Following the prayer, President Erdoğan answered reporters’ questions.

With regard to his meeting with President Iván Duque Márquez of Colombia, President Erdoğan noted that they would discuss the bilateral relations between Türkiye and Colombia as well as such regional matters as the Russia-Ukraine issue, and the drug-trafficking aspect of global terrorism. 

In answer to a question on the PKK/YPG terrorist organization’s efforts to stop civilians from returning to the terror-free zones in Syria, President Erdoğan said: “First of all, combatting terrorism is not a superficial notion. It is extremely comprehensive.” Recalling the EU leaders’ remarks on having recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization, President Erdoğan said: “Well, why do not you recognize the YPG as a terrorist organization as well. We are the ones who know these the best, not them. The YPG is an offshoot terrorist organization of the PKK.”

Criticizing the EU, the US and the world for giving the PKK/YPG terrorist organization various opportunities, President Erdoğan said: “These terrorist organizations are carrying out all kinds of marches in various European countries, notably Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and France. They are even terrorizing those places during their marches. Unfortunately, the administrations in these countries are giving them all kinds of assurances. We have told them over and over, given them documents at both international meetings and bilateral talks. We have shown them video recordings, and told them ‘they are a terrorist organization and the crimes this terrorist organization committed are evident’.”

“Türkiye has been continuing to fight against terror for years,” President Erdoğan said. Pointing to the PKK/YPG’s hideouts in caves, base in Qandil and undeniable terrorist activities, President Erdoğan said: “However, the West is unfortunately concealing them, covering them up. They are doing all kinds of marches in Germany, Sweden and Finland. When we say ‘give these terrorists to us’, they do not, have not so far.”


In answer to a question on Türkiye’s stance regarding the bid by Finland and Sweden to join NATO, President Erdoğan said: “I had a comprehensive talk with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands today. The UK and Finland requested to hold talks so I will speak with them tomorrow. I will also speak with Mr. Stoltenberg. I will hold all these talks in order to maintain the phone diplomacy among us. However, what do we say loudly and clearly? First of all, we have all the information and documents about these terrorist organizations. We are the injured party here. And we know NATO’s sensitivity regarding terrorism. We know NATO is a security organization. We cannot say ‘yes’ to such a terrorist organization being admitted into NATO. I think so with regard to Sweden. And I also think so with regard to Finland. At the moment, many EU countries are allowing these terrorist organizations to speak at their parliaments, let alone recognizing them as terrorist organizations. They are giving them means and place at their own parliaments. They are providing them with weapons and ammunition. We know that. We see that and we suffer because of that. Therefore, we cannot say ‘yes’ to such terrorist organizations joining NATO which is a security organization.”