Çiçek implies IRA, ETA analogies on PKK talks
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News | 9/15/2011 12:00:00 AM |
An alleged meeting between Turkey’s intelligence chief and senior members of an outlawed terror organization was nothing different from what Britain and Spain did in the past.
An alleged meeting between Turkey’s intelligence chief and senior members of an outlawed terror organization was nothing different from what Britain and Spain did in the past, a senior Turkish official has said.
“The Turkish Republic is doing the same as what Britain, Spain and other countries that suffered from terror have done in the past. That’s how I read this,” Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek told reporters Thursday.
His comments referred to alleged negotiations between the National Intelligence Organization, or MİT, and senior members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, over ending terrorist acts in return for granting rights to citizens of Kurdish descent. A recording was recently leaked of one of these meetings, which were brokered by a third-party country and took place in Oslo, Norway, in 2009 and 2010.
The leaked tape purportedly contained negotiations between Hakan Fidan, now the MİT chief, and his deputy Afet Güneş and three members of the European wing of the PKK, Sabri Ok, Zübeyir Aydar and Mustafa Karasu. An Ankara prosecutor has launched an investigation into the release of the recording. MİT had yet to make a statement on the issue when the Hürriyet Daily News went to press late Thursday.
MİT completed an internal investigation Wednesday but would not make a statement on it, CNNTürk reported Thursday. The news channel also said Fidan returned to Ankara on Wednesday from Egypt, where he had accompanied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on a trip.
The statement by Çiçek, who coordinated the government’s fight against terror in his capacity as deputy prime minister in 2009 and 2010, was seen as an indirect confirmation of the meetings between state officials and terrorists.
“The Republic of Turkey and its institutions are doing what has to be done. We should look at this issue in this framework,” Çiçek said, comparing the alleged meetings with Britain’s talks with the IRA and Spain’s talks with ETA. Both countries negotiated with terror organizations as a way to end the violence.
Aydar has meanwhile denied that the recording was leaked by the PKK. “This is not related to us. We are following and discussing the developments. The organization [PKK] will make the necessary statements if needed,” he said in an interview with Roj TV, a Denmark-based satellite broadcaster the government accuses of being a mouthpiece for the PKK.
According to Aydar, the meetings began in 2006 through imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.