Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged district governors to do their part, in line with the law, against violence carried out by PKK terrorists in Turkey’s southeast.
Speaking to local-authority leaders at the presidential complex in Ankara, Erdogan said the PKK was trying to exert dominance by "using every kind of immoral method in some districts and streets in the southeast of our country".
"In particular, district governors should gallantly act by using the authority granted by the law to eliminate the destruction the PKK has caused and to fill the gaps caused by the municipalities," Erdogan told the officials.
The president said the local authorities could not allow a cutback in [public] services, referring to those which allegedly helped the PKK dig trenches to thwart the advance of the security forces in urban areas.
"It is essential for you to get life in the region back to normal by confiscating the vehicles of the municipalities or using the means of other [state] institutions.
"In addition, public servants who support the terrorist organization should be swiftly be identified and surrendered to justice," the president added.
The southeast has seen a military operation since mid-December. PKK members have dug trenches and set up barricades in urban areas of the southeast to keep security forces out.
The PKK – designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – renewed its armed campaign against the Turkish state in late-July 2015. Since then more than 200 members of the security forces have been martyred.