HDP team visits PKK leader after key press meeting with Turkish government
This Feb 28 photo shows HDP MP Sırr Süreyya Önder (R) speaking next to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan (L) during a meeting at the Dolmabahçe office of the prime ministry in Istanbul. AFP PhotoPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder and independent deputy Leyla Zana, a leading figure in the Kurdish political movement, will visit Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on İmralı Island Prison, the party said in a press statement on March 5.
The visit comes after a joint press conference of HDP deputies and government representatives, in which Önder read out a call by Öcalan for the PKK seniors in Iraq to hold a conference to discuss laying down arms in Turkey.
Önder had also read a 10-article text by Öcalan at the Feb. 28 meeting, which outlined issues to be discussed during negotiations to resolve the Kurdish issue.
Zana is among the figures who Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has described as “very positive and important supporters” of the process.
HDP deputy Pervin Buldan, who was also present at the Feb. 28 meeting, announced on March 4 that her party had agreed with the government on amending 16 key articles of a controversial domestic security bill. However, ruling party officials have denied these claims.
The HDP has linked an improvement in talks to amendments to the security bill package, which decorates governors and the police with additional authorities.