Barzani begins talks on terror in Turkey
Massoud Barzani is visiting Istanbul as part of Turkey’s diplomatic initiatives with international circles following the attack of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Çukurca on Oct. 19 that killed 24 soldiers and wounded 18.
Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was to arrive in Istanbul and hold talks with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu yesterday when the Hürriyet Daily News went to press. The Iraqi Kurdish leader was also expected to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdoğan during his visit.
The fight against the PKK, as well as opportunities to further develop relations with Iraq and the KRG, will be high on the agenda of the meetings, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Nov. 3.
Different from their previous stance, Iraqi Kurdish officials showed strong support for Turkey against the PKK attacks as Turkey launched comprehensive ground and air operations in northern Iraq. They did not protest Turkey’s incursion into their territories.
Within this scope, Nechervan Barzani, the former president of the KRG and vice president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), visited Turkey recently at Erdoğan’s request. In his visit Nechervan Barzani said attacks by the terrorist group PKK would not contribute either to Turks or Kurds.
The Turkish prime minister then invited Massoud Barzani for talks to request Iraqi Kurds to take concrete steps regarding the terrorist group PKK.
Turkey’s nationalist party criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for having talks with Barzani. “Is the AKP looking for a new partner to negotiate with the PKK? Is the new partner Barzani?” asked Deputy Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Mehmet Şandır yesterday.
Şandır asked if Barzani was visiting Turkey with a mission, if he was bringing the PKK’s demands or if he was taking a mediator role.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu met with his Serbian and Qatar counterparts yesterday. He also had talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu, who had trilateral discussions with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York last weekend.