Özçelik pays visit to US for PKK talks
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsUndersecretary for Public Order and Security Ambassador Murat Özçelik has been paying his first foreign visit to the U.S. for talks on the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
He will later visit southeastern Turkey and have talks in Iraq as part of his institution’s mission to develop strategies, share intelligence and coordinate efforts against PKK terrorism.
The U.S. visit started Jan. 9, and Özçelik has been having talks with the Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism David Cohen, State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism Policy Daniel Benjamin and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.
Özçelik is known as one of Turkey’s most experienced diplomats on Iraq and security diplomacy, particularly in relations with the administration of northern Iraq, where the PKK has long taken shelter.
Meanwhile, government officials have failed to reach a decision on the compensation to be paid to the families of 34 civilians killed in a botched airstrike at the border district of Uludere last month, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said yesterday.
“We evaluated the matter, but are yet to reach a decision,” Atalay told reporters, referring to a meeting held Jan. 10, which also included the governor of Uludere.