Turkish president says PKK terror group wants to turn children into slaves of its ideology.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the PKK -- a terror group that claims to represent Kurds -- is itself killing Kurdish people.
Speaking at a program organized by the Directorate of Religious Affairs Saturday, Erdogan said: “They say: ‘We are representatives of Kurdish people’. They lie… they urged people to take to the streets as soon as they got a little bit success in June 7  elections, and they caused 53 people to be killed.
“Who were those that were killed? All of them were my Kurdish citizens. What about the killer? They were also Kurdish. Weren’t you the representatives of Kurdish people?”
The president also said the "separatist" terror group harmed children even more by “stealing our dreams and tearing apart their lives".
He noted the PKK was primarily targeting schools, dormitories and teachers in its attacks.
He said the terror group was breaking the ties of children with education and religion in order to turn them into slaves of its ideology.
“It is obvious the purpose of the organization is to cut ties of our children in [Turkey’s southeastern] region with both the school and the mosque, to turn them into slaves, servants and robots of their own heretical ideology.
“Because they know that terrorism or terrorists cannot find shelter in mosques."
Erdogan said “The mission of the Ministry of National Education is to provide the best, accurate, advanced and positive education while the mission of the Presidency of Religious Affairs is to teach Islam to the people and children in the most accurate and healthy way.
"We will not see our schools as institutions just consisting of four walls, a board and a teacher...
“We can not leave our mosques as places that only consist of four walls, a mihrab [a niche inside a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca] and an imam… We can not reach our targets without turning our schools and mosques into living parts of our society.”
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization also by the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.
Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.