PKK says it may halt withdrawal
DİYARBAKIR - Doğan News Agency
Bayık says PKK militants will stop their retreat if the government doesn’t take action. DHA photoA senior leader within the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has issued a fresh warning to the government, saying the organization could stop its retreat and send back withdrawn militants if Ankara fails to take steps forward in the peace process.
“We gave the Turkish government until Sept. 1. We haven’t seen any development until now. That means they don’t want to solve these problems,” said Cemil Bayık, a senior PKK leader, speaking after receiving petitions for the release of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is imprisoned for life on İmralı island.
Bayık also said the PKK would respond to any military operation. “They want to make war. We will defend ourselves. If the operations start, we will defend ourselves against this. If war starts and they attempt to destroy [the PKK], then we will send guerrilla groups back [to Turkey],” said Bayık, the co-chief the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the urban wing of the PKK.
This is the second time Bayık has warned the Turkish government about an operation against the outlawed group. In an interview with the BBC’s Turkish service on Aug. 27, Bayık said they would continue to withdraw until Sept. 1, but that the process could be reversed on that day if the Turkish government did not take “necessary steps.