BDP co-leader sees no division in PKK

BDP co-leader sees no division in PKK

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
BDP co-leader sees no division in PKK

Allegations suggesting that there are divisions inside the PKK are 'a complte lie,' Kışanak has said. AA photo

A co-leader of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has strictly denied allegations suggesting that hawkish groups within the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are dragging their feet despite the call from their jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan to engage in the ongoing peace process.

“This is a complete lie. I’m saying this as the co-leader of a party that held meetings with ‘Kandil’ on a number of occasions, and which held meetings in İmralı, and as a person who read his [Öcalan’s] letters,” BDP co-leader Gültan Kışanak told a small group of journalists when questioned about claims that there were divisions in the PKK regarding the process aimed at ending the three-decade old conflict. 

Kışanak was referring to the fact that BDP deputies played a central role in the process by holding talks with Öcalan, who is currently serving a life sentence on İmralı Island, and the PKK leadership based in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq. 

“Having knowledge of this entire process, I can clearly say that it is out of question for any wing within the PKK to have a different approach regarding it,” Kışanak said.

While admitting certain difficulties throughout the process, the BDP leader still sounded optimistic concerning the future. 

‘Partial discussions’

“It is seen that this process will proceed, despite only partial discussion concerning the withdrawal. This is a conclusion that we have reached following our delegation’s meetings both in İmralı and Kandil. There is a will and a determined stance on this issue,” she said. The government is seeking a weapons-free pullout by the PKK, but the militants are reportedly concerned that they could be vulnerable to attack in such a situation. 

Hundreds were killed in clashes with security forces in a previous withdrawal in 1999, following a ceasefire called by Öcalan shortly after being captured.