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POLITICS > Gov’t highlights Öcalan’s role in dialogue with PKK

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Yalçın Akdoğan is a ruling party lawmaker and PM Erdoğan’s adviser. Hürriyet photo

Yalçın Akdoğan is a ruling party lawmaker and PM Erdoğan’s adviser. Hürriyet photo

Imprisoned Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Öcalan is critical to any dialogue process that seeks to convince his Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to lay down its arms, a senior adviser to the premier has said.

“Abdullah Öcalan is still the most important actor for a resolution. We know that the organization frustrated him, used his name and benefited from his name from time to time,” Yalçın Akdoğan said in an interview with NTV news channel on Dec. 31, 2012.

The comment comes days after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made public on Dec. 28, 2012, that intelligence agents were meeting with Öcalan. “He has been in prison for a long time, and it is not possible for him to effectively command the organization. But he is an important tool within the emotional body of the organization,” said Akdoğan.

Akdoğan is also a deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, meanwhile, welcomed Erdoğan’s public acknowledgement of the talks. “It is a very important step taken toward telling the truth to people. When we talked earlier about similar things, we faced very tough accusations. This means that telling the truth to people is always beautiful,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters on Dec. 31, 2012.

“I cannot hold such meetings myself as a politician, but the state has agents and they do [hold talks]. The meetings on [the İmralı prison island] are still under way because we must get a result. As long as we see a light [at the end of the tunnel], we will continue to take steps. If there is no light, we will stop there,” Erdoğan said last week.

Media reports following Erdoğan’s statement claimed that the fresh talks with Öcalan aimed to determine a timetable for the PKK to release a declaration to lay down arms within few months. Accordingly, if the target is achieved, the PKK, which has halted operations due to winter conditions, would ostensibly begin to disarm in the spring.

“These kinds of issues should be approached with cautious optimism. We will be realistic, will continue processes with good intentions and will exert a sincere effort to get a result,” Akdoğan said. “People should not be left without hope, but their hopes should not be played with either. There is a serious effort, but I don’t think that it is correct to say ‘a result will be out within three to five months.’ We don’t know the content of the meetings.”

January/02/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Tolga PAMUK

1/2/2013 10:22:54 PM

I support these efforts. All sides must be careful this time. I don't believe any groups who live in this county benefit from these PKK related conflicts .

Hakan Salci

1/2/2013 5:12:13 PM

The PKK wouldn't be alive if it were not for the support they receive from foreign governments; especially from those in the West. In the U.K the PKK do whatever they want, everyone, including the authorities know that they control the drugs trade, collect extortion money etc., and yet they do nothing; same in Germany, France. It is easy to say negotiate with terrorists but Turks will never except a deal that would partition the country or one that would lead up to it, Erdogan be aware.

Agnes Smith

1/2/2013 3:26:52 PM

Well get on with it then!!!! Enough already. Dialogue means dialogue. You have one man in prison for life who can save how many lives - logic and common sense has to prevail over nationalism and pride. It is not giving in - it is just logic. The right deal can be made and has to be sooner rather than later. Escalation of tension will never see this goal.. Good luck Turkiye.
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