Turkey’s prime minister decried the problem that the PKK terrorist group presents to the Kurdish people living in the country.

Speaking at the funeral of a soldier martyred in a PKK-led attack in the southern Hakkari province, Binali Yildirim called the fight against terrorism a struggle for Turkey’s very survival.

"The problem of our Kurdish brothers is the separatist terrorist organization [PKK]. The way to solve this problem is to wipe out this terrorist network from these territories so that it will never again return," Yildirim said.

He said those who have betrayed the Turkish flag, land, and country would be punished. "We will be united and walk shoulder to shoulder in this fight," he added.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the U.S. and the EU.

In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people have been killed, including women and children.