Iran Rejects Turkish Official's Comments as Baseless
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman on Wednesday rejected comments by Turkish deputy prime minister as unfounded, saying such accusations cannot solve the internal problems of that country.
Iran supports and welcomes any initiative that can boost peace and security in the region and believes that security in its northwestern neighboring country, Turkey, can greately contribute to security in Iran and the whole region, said Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Wednesday.
But she expressed displeasure over comments by Turkish deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay, saying raising such baseless allegations cannot redress problems that have their roots inside that country.
"Relations between Iran and Turkey are based on mutual respect and trust," said Afkham, adding the Turkish officials are well aware that Iran's security cooperation with Turkey was among important factors that led to a reduction in that country's security problems.
Besir Atalay told a local TV channel on Monday evening that most factors that have spawned and fed terrorism in Turkey come from outside the borders of that country.
He also referred to the peace process between Turkey's government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) armed rebel group saying, "The Turkish government has reliable information which indicates a link between some foreign countries and the PKK top brass aimed at derailing the peace process."
He accused Iran and the European countries of trying to disrupt the peace process with the PKK.
All are aware of Tehran's interference in Syria and its support for the Syrian government, he added.
After about three decades of clashes between Turkey's army and the PKK in which more than 40,000 have lost their lives, a peace process was launched in March. Under the accord, Turkey has promised to improve Kurdish rights, such as by scrapping a controversial anti-terrorism law and allowing Kurdish children to be educated in their own language.
In return, the PKK - regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, Iran, the EU and US - declared a ceasefire and started its withdrawal from Turkish soil in May.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of creating a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, but it has now moderated its goal to regional autonomy.