'Oslo talks should be revived,' says Zana
Leyla Zana. AFP photo
Independent deputy Leyla Zana has outlined the contents of a much-anticipated meeting she held yesterday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, declaring that it is “unrealistic” to end the Kurdish issue by asking Kurdish militants to lay down their arms.
The armed conflict remains an open wound, Zana said, adding that she told the prime minister that it could not be healed with demands such as calling on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to lay down arms or asking the Turkish army to stop military operations.
"I told [the prime minister] that the people who asked for an apology were not the people of a foreign state but were citizens of this country," Zana said.
She also said she told Erdoğan that it was quite possible to transfer the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, to house arrest, but Zana did not elaborate on the details of the conversation regarding the issue.
Zana also advised the prime minister to continue the Oslo process, in which members of Turkey’s intelligence agency began dialogue with the PKK in an effort to end the conflict.
The lawmaker also said she told Erdoğan that adding Kurdish as an elective course in Turkish education system was a positive step.
The rare meeting to try and resolve the decades-old conflict occurred after Zana surprised many, especially in the Kurdish movement in which she is a symbolic figure, by saying she believed Erdoğan could solve the problem.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.