Joined: 25 Oct 2003
| Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 11:46 am Post subject: Turkish premier says army fulfilling constitutional duties
|Turkish premier says army fulfilling constitutional duties
TRT 2 television, Ankara
31 Jan 04
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is at Harvard University, Boston, the
last leg of his visit to the United States. When he arrived at the university, he
replied to reporters' questions. To a question on the relations between the
army and politics in Turkey, the prime minister stressed that a civilian
government is in power in Turkey. He added: The duties of our army have been defined
in our Constitution. The army does not act outside its duties. Our
constitutional organizations and institutions strive to fulfil their duties fully as
defined by the Constitution.
In answer to a question on the terrorist incidents that occurred in southeast
in the past, Erdogan explained that the terrorist organizations were trying
to draw Turkey's Kurdish citizens to their side through racist propaganda.
The prime minister was asked how the Turkish government would react if the EU
asked Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian genocide as a condition for its EU
membership. Erdogan replied: That is a very wrong approach. It is wrong to make
something nonexistent look as if it exists. It is equally wrong to carry this
to the future. Let historians solve what happened in history. We must talk
about how we are going to build the future.
In reply to another question, Erdogan said that he was not an Islamist
politician but a conservative democrat.