Lay down your arms, conduct politics in Parliament: Turkish PM Erdoğan
SİİRT – Anatolia News Agency
During his speech, Erdoğan also reminded the audience that his wife, Emine Erdoğan was from Siirt. ‘I married an Arab girl from Siirt’ he said. AA photo
Turkey's government will act as interlocutor during the ongoing peace process only if the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) lays down its arms, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 9.
“There is only one thing to be done: You will [lay down] your weapons. You will conduct your political acts at Parliament. If you have an idea or a thought to say, you will express it. If you do that, you will find an interlocutor,” Erdoğan said in the heavily-Kurdish province of Siirt in Turkey's southeast, where he was elected to Parliament for the first time following the repeal of his electoral ban in 2003.
Erdoğan asked again for locals to support the "resolution process" and reiterated his disregard for ethnic nationalism while insisting his government would not accept anything that challenged Turkey’s indivisibility. “Twelve years ago, we said no to ethnic nationalism. We said no to policies of denial and assimilation. We are also against regional nationalism. The East will have exactly the same as the West. Wither with a central government or a local government,” he said.
‘I married an Arab girl from Siirt’
During his speech, Erdoğan also reminded the audience that his wife, Emine Erdoğan, was originally from the Siirt. “In Afyon, I said ‘one people’ against those who want to split us apart because that’s our belief. I love my Kurdish brother, my Arab brother and my Turkish brother in the same way. I don’t discriminate,” said Erdoğan. “If I did that sort of discrimination, why would I marry an Arab girl from Siirt? This is the best proof of it.”
Erdoğan asked the government’s counterparts in the peace talks for honesty and goodwill. “My people have appropriated the resolution process. We won’t give credit to those who want to split us. We won’t give credit to terrorism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Emine Erdoğan has expressed her optimism during a separate speech given in her hometown at the Siirt University. “I believe whole-heartedly that a solution is very near,” she said.