Erdogan Calls for Wider Definition of ‘Terrorist’

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) —

Turkey’s president is calling for his country to “redefine” terror and terrorists so that their legal scope can expand to anyone supporting terror — including legislators, academics, journalists or activists.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call on Monday followed a suicide car bomb attack in the capital, Ankara, that killed 37 people. His statement appeared to be directed at a pro-Kurdish political party that the Turkish leader accuses of being the political arm of the Kurdish rebels; opposition journalists he accuses of supporting his foes; and a group of academics who are facing prosecution for calling on the government to end conflict against the PKK.

Erdogan said: “Either they are on our side, or on the side of the terrorists.”

Erdogan added that there was no difference between “a terrorist holding a gun or a bomb and those who use their position and pen to serve the aims of the terrorist.”

Earlier Monday, Turkey’s prime minister announced that authorities have detained 11 people in connection with the bombing.

Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters Monday that there are strong indications that the attack was carried out by Kurdish rebels.

He said DNA tests to identify the two possible bombers were continuing. The Turkish leader again vowed that Turkey would continue its fight against the rebels until they are wiped out.

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