'Öcalan house arrest can be discussed if PKK lays down arms,' Turkish deputy PM says
Bülent Arınç. AA photo
The government could consider discussing house arrest for the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, if the organization lays down its arms, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said today.
Arınç made the remark during an interview broadcast on the A Haber TV channel, where he commented on a call by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Leyla Zana to release Öcalan into house arrest.
House arrest for Öcalan could not be discussed as an isolated subject but could be integrated into a road map, or a "process that would begin with the [PKK] laying down its arms," Arınç said.
Öcalan could not be released into house arrest just because the BDP wants it, Arınç said. "The terrorist organization would not give up violence even if we released [Öcalan] into house arrest now."
The BDP's request to release Öcalan into house arrest was a "solitary demand" which was not sincere and was probably aimed at making political gains, Arınç said.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.