"The fight against FETO, the separatist terrorist organization [PKK], and Daesh concern Turkey's freedom and future," Binali Yildirim told a Justice and Development (AK) Party extraordinary congress, set to restore President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the party helm.
"Our fight will resolutely continue," said Yildirim, adding that they would not behave mercifully but fairly in the fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group blamed for the July 2016 defeated coup, which left 249 martyrs and some 2,200 injured.
Citing the newly formed State of Emergency Investigation Commission, tasked with reviewing applications of civil servants dismissed under the post-coup bid state of emergency, Yildirim said that they have taken legislative measures to address issues of unjust treatment.
More than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.
‘We safeguarded the nation’
Yildirim said that through Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which began last August and concluded in March, Turkey safeguarded the life and property of Turkey’s citizens.
"Our fight in the region is not yet finished," he added.
Carried out with Free Syrian Army support, the operation aimed to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border.
Yildirim said that no country can make political moves in the region without Turkey.
"The whole world knows that the PKK, PYD, and YPG are the same. We also expect our allies to accept this reality," he added, alluding to the U.S. recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, but failing to extend this to its Syrian branches, the terrorist PKK/PYD.
Yildirim, who has chaired the ruling AK Party since last May when he became premier, expressed pride in handing over the party reins to Erdogan at the congress.
Under the previous Constitution’s rules, Turkey’s president could not be a member of a political party. An April 16 public referendum overturned that rule.
Also at the congress, Erdogan was nominated to be the AK Party's new chairman by all 1,370 party delegates.
At the congress, the party delegates will not only elect their leader but also the party's boards. Delegates will choose members of the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), Central Disciplinary Board (MDK), Intra-Party Democracy and Arbitration Board, and Political Virtue and Ethics Board.
Under Erdogan's leadership, the makeup of the various boards as well as top party posts are expected to extensively change hands ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections set for 2019.
Shortly after being elected president in August 2014, while handing the party reins to then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at an AK Party extraordinary congress, Erdogan bid farewell to party members but added he was leaving with “the hope of rejoining”.