ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Turkey's Minister of Interior Affairs on Saturday labeled several European countries' ambassadors to Ankara as "supporters of terrorism" for showing solidarity with the imprisoned Kurdish lawmakers of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
"When they sat on the seats of the HDP group, I felt a pang of sorrow inside. I said they are giving lifeblood to the terrorist organization," said Minister Suleyman Soylu who was addressing a crowd in the Turkish city of Sakarya.
The crowd gathered for Muhammet Fatih Sariturk's funeral, the subgovernor of the town of Derik in the Kurdish Mardin Province, who was killed on Thursday in an attack claimed by a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated group.
Sariturk was also serving as a government trustee to the Municipality of Derik whose administration the Interior Ministry seized from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) on September 12.
Accusing the European diplomats who attended HDP's weekly parliamentary convention on Tuesday of encouraging "terror," the Turkish Minister claimed the imprisoned Kurdish lawmakers were thus proven to be "representing" European interests, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency news agency.
"Those who are now in jail because of their treason to this country were representatives of those who sat on their seats. They [HDP lawmakers] are not the children of this land. They were receiving orders from their masters in other places [Europe]," explained Soylu as the crowd chanted Allahu Akbar and demanded reintroduction of capital punishment.
A diplomat from the European Union’s Turkey mission, representatives from various countries including the ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, and Greece, were present at the HDP’s group convention at the beginning of the week.
"We have advice to the ambassadors; soon when we suddenly grab the top of Mount Qandil, lay protection to it, if you have the heart," continued the Turkish Minister threatening to invade the mountain range between the Kurdistan Region and Iranian Kurdistan where the PKK has its central command and main training bases.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who later came to the funeral, meanwhile, once again repudiated criticism by top European officials on the mass detention and imprisonment of HDP leaders and lawmakers.
"It does not interest us what George or Hans say. What interests us is what Allah has said," declared Erdogan, referring to the English and Germans as understood in Turkey by two common male names in remarks reminiscent of his earlier statements.
Editing by Ava Homa