ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Erdoğan reiterated his criticisim on the long period of detention of army commanders. AA photo
The Turkish government is pursuing talks with all political parties, whether national or international, while engaged in dialogue for a peace process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK), said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“If there is a political interlocutor in front of us, whether national or international, as I’ve said before, we can hold talks with them. We have already met with leaders [of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)] in Erbil, [northern Iraq]. I have met them, my ministers have met them because they are politicians that are participating in Iraq’s federal structure,” Erdoğan told reporters during a press conference held following a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, Najib Mikati, in Ankara
Erdoğan emphasized the public’s unanimous support regarding the process. “In the public opinion polls I’ve requested, I saw a very positive opinion from our people. The public’s wish is to end this process, whatever it takes,” said Erdoğan. ‘The judiciary’s mentality needs to change’
During the conference, Erdoğan also touched on the subject of long detention times handed to army commanders. He rejected claims that a new law was being prepared, and stressed that the last judicial reform package contained all the necessary arrangements to allow army commanders to be judged without pre-trial detention.
“There is no need for a new measure in the new judicial reform package. I think that the mentality needs to change. Of course, it is up to the judiciary to decide on this issue but as a prime minister who feels a political responsibility, I had to express what I thought,” said Erdoğan. The prime minister added that there were many officers currently being detained with whom he had personally worked with. “Retired generals have given their statements and then been arrested when they could have been tried without being detained,” he said.
Last week, Erdoğan publicly criticized the long detention of army generals, saying it may be having an adverse effect on the fight against terrorism, in a live television interview on a private news station.