Turkey president wants to strip 'terror supporters' of citizenship

This file photo taken on February 10, 2016 shows Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Turkey has "nothing to discuss with terrorists," Mr Erdogan said

Turkey should consider stripping terrorism supporters of their citizenship, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The government had "nothing to discuss with terrorists", he added, speaking to a group of lawyers in Ankara.

On Monday Mr Erdogan ruled out reviving peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

A ceasefire between the Turkish government and the PKK collapsed in July.

"These people don't deserve to be our citizens. We are not obliged to carry anyone engaged in the betrayal of their state and their people," Mr Erdogan said.

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The Turkish president also vowed to stamp out the conflict in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast once and for all.

The region has suffered its worst violence in more than two decades after a truce agreed in 2013 collapsed last summer.

Mr Erdogan said last week that 355 members of the security forces and more than 5,000 PKK members had been killed in fighting.

Meanwhile two deadly bomb attacks in Ankara have been claimed by Kurdish rebels.

Image copyright AP
Image caption More than 5,000 PKK members as well as 355 members of the security have been killed, Mr Erdogan said

The violence has also strained relations between Turkey and the US, which supports Kurdish militia in Syria that Turkey sees as a branch of the PKK.

Last month, Mr Erdogan called for the definition of terrorism to be expanded to include journalists, activists and others who "exploit their positions, pens and titles and put them at terrorists' disposal."

He has also pushed for MPs from the pro-Kurdish HDP party to be stripped of their immunity so they can be prosecuted for "terrorist propaganda".

The PKK formally took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984, seeking independence for Turkey's largest minority group.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Civilians have also been caught up in the fighting

Kurdish groups across the region


  • Pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) - with representation in parliament but accused by ruling party of supporting militants
  • Banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - hostile to Turkish government, has camps in northern Iraq and operates in south-eastern Turkey
  • Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) - offshoot of PKK, said it was behind last month's Ankara bombing


  • Democratic Unity Party (PYD) - linked to PKK
  • People's Protection Units (YPG) - controls area on Turkish border known as Rojava. Mainly fighting IS, but regarded by Turkey as an extension of the PKK


  • Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) - runs Kurdish region of northern Iraq with Peshmerga as armed forces, has friendly relations with Turkey
  • KDP - dominant political party in the region

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