Belgium’s Ambassador to Turkey Marc Trentesau has been summoned to Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey the country’s protest over the recent PKK tent incident in Brussels, diplomatic sources said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also called his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders Sunday over the incident, diplomatic sources added.
On Thursday, the Belgian government had allowed PKK supporters to pitch their tents near the venue of the Turkey-EU summit in Brussels.
Although flags of the terrorist group were removed ahead of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s visit, they were put back up after his departure.
According to the sources, Cavusoglu in his conversation with Reynders called the situation “unacceptable” and emphasized the importance of removing the tent.
Turkish minister also said the display of PKK flags and terrorist posters is also unacceptable, adding the issue is not about freedom of expression but that it is a matter of “terrorism”.
Cavusoglu said the PKK is a terrorist organization just like Daesh. He noted that Daesh is not allowed in Belgium in the name of freedom of expression.
He emphasized that PKK actions must be responded in the same vein as against Daesh.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also slammed the Belgian government Sunday over the incident. “They call it 'freedom of thought'. What kind of a freedom of thought is that?” Erdogan asked.
The PKK – also listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, around 300 members of the security forces have been martyred, and thousands of PKK terrorists have been killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.