Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group was the “likely perpetrator” of a bomb attack on a wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep that left at least 30 dead.
Erdogan said in a written statement that there was “no difference” between the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who he blames for a failed July 15 coup bid, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) “and Daesh (IS), the likely perpetrator of the attack in Gaziantep”.
“Our country and our nation have again only one message to those who attack us — you will not succeed!” he said.
Erdogan added that PKK attacks on security forces had claimed 70 lives in the last month alone.
Erdogan said that the aim of attacks like Gaziantep was to sow division between different groups in Turkey such as Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen and “spread incitement along ethnic and religious lines.”
Turkey would not give in to the “provocation” of the Gaziantep attack and would instead show “unity, togetherness and brotherhood”, he said.
Ankara has long insisted there is no difference between the various “outlawed” terror groups it is fighting and has urged the West to take a tougher stance against the PKK.