AKP declares roadmap, hoping to set Kurdish peace bid on track
The Kandil Mountains are a range located along the Iranian border of Iraq. Kandil has become synonymous in Turkish politics for the PKK, which has had its headquarters and military camps there for nearly 20 years.There might be widespread concern over the sustainability of the peace process, but the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has expressed its confidence, heralding optimistic discussions ahead of anticipated advancements in the stalled process.
“Our government’s resolve and sincerity about the resolution process is going on in the same way. The roadmap has been drafted to a great extent,” AKP deputy chair Beşir Atalay, also the spokesperson for the government, said at a press conference on Oct. 16.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a key player in the Kurdish political movement represented in Parliament which is directly involved in the process aimed at ending the three-decade-long conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey’s security forces, announced Oct. 13 that the government had “partially shared” the long-awaited draft roadmap aimed at accelerating the peace process.
“These are being discussed with the other side – with the political and the organizational fractions,” Atalay said in an unveiled reference to the HDP and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“Dialogue and meetings will continue,” Atalay said, while noting that a dynamism regarding the process would be visible to the public in the coming days, including new meetings of the wise persons’ committee formed in the early stages of the resolution process. At the time, the team visited different regions of the country to convince the public about the merits of the resolution process.
A parliamentary delegation from the HDP composed of deputy parliamentary group chairs İdris Baluken and Sırrı Süreyya Önder earlier confirmed that they spoke with the government on Oct. 15. The pair, along with party colleague Pervin Buldan, are frequent visitors to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is a central player in the process, and they are scheduled to pay yet another visit on Oct. 21 to the PKK leader serving a life sentence on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara.
“During our meeting with our governmental officials, while we were setting a date for our meeting with Mr. Öcalan, we thought that meeting with KCK executives by traveling to Kandil would be right and constructive,” Buldan told Diha news agency (DİHA) on Oct. 15, referring to executives of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the urban wing of the PKK.
The Kandil Mountains are a range located along the Iranian border of Iraq. Kandil has become synonymous in Turkish politics for the PKK, which has had its headquarters and military camps there for nearly 20 years.
In separate remarks delivered to the Al Jazeera Türk news portal, Buldan said the first article on the draft roadmap that the government shared with them outlined “negotiations” – a significance phase that Öcalan frequently cites in his messages delivered through HDP delegations.
“The first article seems like the start of negotiations. The date next to that is Oct. 1, but this date is now past. For the negotiations to start, there is a need for improvements in the living conditions of Mr. Öcalan and for him to have the opportunity to have meetings with other delegations, civil society organizations and journalists,” Buldan was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera Türk.
In remarks published yesterday in daily Vatan, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said the government expected the resolution process to be completed before parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2015.
According to Buldan, however, such an expectation is unreasonable.
“This seems very difficult. Since there has constantly been a delay in planned timings so far, I don’t deem it very likely,” Buldan told the news portal.