BDP expects to meet Öcalan in İmralı today
‘The BDP is a party which keeps the mentality of 1960s and 1970s... They act as the spokesperson of terrorist elements,’ Atalay says in a televised interview on Kanal 7. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZAs Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) officials anticipate a visit to Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has labeled the party “one of the two extreme ends of the Turkish political spectrum.”
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was one of the two extreme ends in Turkish politics; while the BDP was the other extreme, according to Atalay.
“The BDP is a party which keeps the mentality of 1960s and 1970s. They look at the country from a very narrow, chauvinist perspective. They cannot see Turkey as a whole and analyze Turkey’s complex structure. And they don’t even care about these factors. They act as the spokesperson of terrorist elements,” Atalay said in a televised interview on Kanal 7.
BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and BDP’s deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan are expecting to visit Öcalan today [Oct. 14] as the latter is likely to deliver his views on the stalled peace process. The BDP members are then expected to convey this message to the public.
Buldan told the Hürriyet Daily News on Oct. 13 that they were expecting their visit to İmralı Island -where Öcalan is serving his life sentence - to take place on Oct. 13, however, the Ministry of Justice had not yet responded to their visit request. They would travel to İmralı Island as soon as Ministry of Justice allowed their visit to go ahead, Buldan said.
After visiting the jailed PKK leader on İmralı Island on Sept. 23, Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan said that Öcalan would share his views on the peace process and the government’s recently announced democratization package on Oct. 15.
Since Oct. 15 is the first day of the Eid-al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice, the BDP does not expect their visit to Öcalan to take place on that day.
“Öcalan had said he would share his views on Oct. 15. He can only express his views through us; so our visit should take place on Monday [Oct. 14]. But we are still waiting for the response of officials from the Justice Ministry,” Buldan said.
During the latest visit Demirtaş and Buldan paid to İmralı Island on Sept. 15, Öcalan said “the government should create the necessary tools and opportunities for in-depth negotiations and in order for the process to proceed.”
Öcalan’s views on the democratization package announced on Sept. 30 are highly anticipated by the BDP.
The democratization package was seen as an opportunity to regain momentum in the peace process, which was stalled after the PKK announced it had halted the withdrawal of its militants from Turkish soil in September.
The BDP criticized the democratization package for only providing provisions for mother-tongue education in private schools instead of state schools and only promising to change the names of towns and villages – but not provinces as well – back to their originals in terms of measures aimed at Kurds.