Öcalan calls for finalization of process in two to three weeks
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder (L), Selahattin Demirtaş (C) and Pervin Buldan (R). AA photo
The imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, has called for the ongoing "peace process" to be brought to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said.
Öcalan has been working on a draft text for the negotiations, which will be revealed soon, Demirtaş said on Feb. 25, adding that the latest visit of three BDP deputies to İmralı island prison last weekend had "raised hopes for peace."
"If a ceasefire call was to be made, it would be made by Öcalan himself," he said, referring to reports that a ceasefire would be declared on March 21, at Nevruz, the most important holiday of the year for Kurds. The BDP co-chair said a call made by Öcalan would be binding for PKK militants.
Demirtaş said Öcalan is seeking to end the process within the next two to three weeks, also stating that he hoped the ongoing efforts would not be spoiled in the name of insignificant and partisan interests.
"We have been negotiating for five months with the İmralı delegation and government delegations, in order to build an ineradicable and institutional democracy in Turkey," Demirtaş said. "Unlike those who wait for blood and death, we want to be part of a process that will gain support from everyone."
He stated that they expected the government to take serious steps in practice, and underlined the importance of public opinion and society's support for this process.
Demirtaş also said that delegations may need to return several times to İmralı in the future as part of the process.