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POLITICS >PKK vows that polls won’t be 'overshadowed by arms'

RİFAT BAŞARAN ANKARA - Radikal

‘We are probing the provocation attempt in Yüksekova, and the goverment should do the same,’ senior PKK leader Zübeyir Aydar says

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Protests took place in southeastern Turkey after two men died in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district during a police crackdown on a rally on Dec 6. DHA photo

Protests took place in southeastern Turkey after two men died in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district during a police crackdown on a rally on Dec 6. DHA photo

A senior leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based in Europe has said his movement wants the upcoming local elections in Turkey to proceed in a peaceful atmosphere, while also vowing to probe the recent unrest that took place in southeastern Turkey.

Aydar told daily Radikal that the government must open a probe over the recent unrest in the eastern province of Hakkari and said the PKK would open its own probe into provocations.

“Everyone is calling for accelerated action for the process. ... We have told the government not to retard the process because there are many enemies of the process. … Now the government is calling this incident a provocation, but it must reveal the provocateurs. We will certainly hold a probe within our movement,” said Aydar in reference over the recent tension that started in Hakkari.

On Dec. 6, two men, Veysel İşbilir, 34, and his nephew, Mehmet Reşit İşbilir, 32, died in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district during a police crackdown on a rally to protest reports that graves belonging to PKK members had been vandalized.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that “Hakkari incidents were also steps undertaken and actions made by those wanted to damage the process.” 

The PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, has given the government time until after the local elections in March 2014, Aybar said.

“This a move to save the peace process,” Aybar said. “We have less than four months to the local elections, but then there will be the presidential election. Parliament will be active until March, they can pass some laws to ease the process.”

Aybar said a visit by a group of members of the Wise Persons’ Group and journalists could revive the stalled bid. “The impacts of such a visit, when they deliver direct messages to the public, will be great,” he said.

In an interview published in daily Taraf yesterday, Aybar also said the elections should not be held under the shadow of the arms.

“We want the elections to take place in a peaceful atmosphere. [It is not true] that we want to enter the elections with armed [actions] as is said in the Turkish public. We seek an atmosphere that suits the meaning of the elections,” Aydar said. 

The PKK will wait until spring before making a decision on the process as imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has previously said, but a new evaluation is needed for the process after that date, according to Aydar, a former deputy of the Democracy Party (DEP), a pro-Kurdish party that was closed down in 1994.

Aydar, who was involved in the Oslo process when the government held secret talks with PKK figures in 2009, said the process needs a third party which was also present in the Oslo process.

December/10/2013

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