Turkish prime minister says Kurdish opposition funded terrorism

Turkish police officers take cover from stones near the explosion site on Nov 4, 2016 after a strong blast in the city of Diyarbakir.
Turkish police officers take cover from stones near the explosion site on Nov 4, 2016 after a strong blast in the city of Diyarbakir. PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday (Nov 6) that the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples'Democratic Party (HDP), whose leaders were arrested on Friday, had been funding terrorism and that anyone harming the nation would pay the price.

"For years, we called on you to say you are against terror and terrorist organisations. You would not listen ... For years, they transferred the money we sent for the municipalities to terror," Mr Yildirim said in a speech broadcast on television. "Whoever harms this nation will pay for it, there is no other way. Not only those bombing and burning, but also those supporting terror."

The government accuse the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy. The HDP, parliament's second-largest opposition party, denies direct links.

The HDP announced a partial boycott of parliament on Sunday following the arrest of its leaders. Mr Yildirim said its deputies would be betraying the people if they failed to attend parliament sessions.