Turkish Military Chief: Anti-Secular Activities Continue

Chief of General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit said that religion [Islam] and religious sentiments have always been exploited by certain circles and formations since the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic, and warned that these circles are continuing with their anti-secular activities.

In an interview for the April issue of the Turkish Defense and Aviation Magazine Gen. Buyukanit said, "Reactionary [Islamist] elements carry out their anti-secular activities through legal associations such as foundations, associations etc. both in Turkey and abroad".

Talking about the PKK terrorism Buyukanit said that the aim of the secessionist terrorist movement was the destruction of the nation-state and its unitary structure, and added that the ethnic and religious plurality of the country was also being exploited by some circles supported by foreign elements.

Asked about how a permanent solution could be achieved, Buyukanit said, "Terrorism has economic, social and political dimensions as well as the security dimension. Terrorism can only be eliminated with a fight comprising all those dimensions."

Source: Anatolia News Agency, Hurriyet, April 4, 2008

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