BDP says it is ready to facilitate PKK dialogue

BDP says it is ready to facilitate PKK dialogue

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
BDP says it is ready to facilitate PKK dialogue

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak (L) and BDP lawmakers walk in Parliament corridors before a parliamentary group meeting. AA photo

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has called for the creation of a parliamentary delegation to launch contacts with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while rejecting classification as an “extension” of the militants.

Speaking at her party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak said the Kurdish conflict could never be resolved if PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, jailed for life on the prison island of İmralı, and PKK commanders in the Kandil mountains were excluded from the process.

“If, by calling the BDP an ‘extension,’ they want to give us a mission of representing the PKK, we don’t have such a mission. We are no extension whatsoever, we are [representatives of a] strong popular will,” Kışanak said.

“If they opt for a negotiated settlement [to the Kurdish problem], all parties in Kurdish politics are ready for that, including the BDP, Kandil and İmralı,” she said.

Kışanak agreed the silencing of guns should be a pre-condition of any negotiations and said the BDP was ready to make efforts to lay the grounds for that.

“If they want us to act as facilitators, the BDP is ready for that. Let us go to İmrali and Kandil officially. Let Parliament set up a delegation for that,” she said.

Referring to the BDP, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week Ankara would maintain contact with the “political extension” of the PKK, while keeping up the military struggle against the militants.

Kışanak condemned the police clampdown on Nevruz demonstrations last week, especially the punching of independent deputy Ahmet Türk, and vowed they would respond with “a stronger struggle and resistance.”

She said a return to a security-oriented approach to the Kurdish question would bring about the “demise” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and urged “all of Turkey to take action to stop this fascist course of events.”