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POLITICS > Turkish government delays Kurdish bid: PKK leader

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Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed PKK leader, is struggling to sustain the peace process as the government isn’t taking the necessary legal steps needed for transformation, a senior Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) lawmaker has quoted him as saying. Öcalan also says he has the power to ensure the disarmament of all militants but government’s apathy in moving forward prevents him doing so

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Peace and Democracy
Party (BDP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pelvin Buldan conveyed the messages of imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in an interview with daily Özgür Gündem. AA photo

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pelvin Buldan conveyed the messages of imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in an interview with daily Özgür Gündem. AA photo

The jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, has urged the government to establish a legal basis for the peace process to shift the talks into the “deep negotiation stage” while accusing it of effectively stopping the process.

“Good or bad, we have exited a one-year process, but any legal basis has not been established. Despite our calls and messages, the government hasn’t taken any steps,” Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pelvin Buldan quoted Öcalan as saying in an interview with daily Özgür Gündem that was published yesterday.

Speaking a few days after visiting Öcalan on the İmralı island prison on Oct. 14 with a BDP delegation, Buldan said Öcalan was struggling to maintain the process amid his confinement and the government’s passivity in establishing the necessary conditions following the retreat of PKK militants from Turkish soil.
“He gave the Habur example. He said; ‘Look, people came, they picked them up and put them in [jail].

Let’s say I make a call today and a group of people come, leaving their guns behind. These people would be killed or arrested at the first police station they entered. But if they prepare the legal grounds for me, I could bring them down from the mountains on this day, at this moment. I have the power to do this,’” Buldan said.

In addition to the clarification of conditions on the reconciliation process, Öcalan’s release would constitute another significant in opening communication channels, according to Buldan.

Öcalan blames the forces he dubs as the “parallel state,” for preventing his release and trying to disrupt the peace process, the senior BDP lawmaker said.

An attack on a public market in the southeastern district of Cizre and the conflict between leftist groups and drug gangs in Istanbul’s Gülsuyu neighborhood are all “interventions by the parallel state,” according to Öcalan.

Ministry ‘has not passed on Kandil’s letters’


In her remarks, Buldan also said the Justice Ministry had not delivered the letters written to Öcalan by PKK leaders on Kandil mountain in northern Iraq.

“We learnt the letter has not been handed to Öcalan yet,” she said, warning against the risks of “limiting Öcalan’s communication channels further.”

Both the BDP and the PKK are pressuring the government to improve Öcalan’s prison conditions, suggesting it was an important pre-requisite to achieve a permanent peace.

However, the government’s restrictions, such as not providing permission to BDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş to join the delegation that visited Öcalan on Oct. 14, has created unease among Kurdish politicians.

“As the meeting was ending, I asked whether we would see each other again. He said: ‘I hope we will. I hope the state and the government won’t make a historical mistake like this,’” she said.

According to Buldan, Öcalan continues to hope deep negotiations will begin as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment in process.

Meanwhile, in another interview, senior PKK leader Cemil Bayık accused the government of trying to render the peace process ineffective with its public statements and the democracy package it recently announced.

“If the cease-fire is still continuing, this is because of the Kurdish side’s attitude and patience.

However, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government has brought our patience to an end,” he told Doğan News Agency.

October/18/2013

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