CHP warm, BDP cool to PM’s words on PKK members’ exile

CHP warm, BDP cool to PM’s words on PKK members’ exile

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP warm, BDP cool to PM’s words on PKK members’ exile

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) meets with the family of cameraman Cüney Ünal, who was freed last week following months of captivity in Syria. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has supported Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s suggestion that outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members could be exiled in a country other than Turkey or Iraq, in the event that arms are eventually laid down by the outlawed organization.

“This is something voiced all along. If they lay down their arms and go to another country, we will not have much to say. We want terror to end. If they lay down their arms and go back to their normal life in another country, we would also be pleased,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters Nov. 23.

Erdoğan’s remarks came late on Nov. 22 while speaking to journalists on board a plane en route from Pakistan to Turkey.

“Silencing the arms is not a solution, arms should be laid down. If the arms are kept in the hands of terrorists, then this is not a solution,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying in remarks published by daily Milliyet Nov. 23.

“The arms could explode again when the time comes. If they say, ‘We can go to different countries,’ it may happen. A considerable majority of the organization members are in Kandil [Mountains] and Makhmour. These [members] can go if they want to go to different countries,” he added.

‘Patronizing language’
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), meanwhile, is wary of Erdoğan’s statements, downplaying them as “unrealistic.”

“The language he uses is not the language of solution. He addresses his counterparts with patronizing language, while he confers forgiveness. Those people who have been fighting for 30 years in the mountains - at the cost of their lives - are not fighting in order to live abroad in comfort. Their return to political and social life should be guaranteed,” BDP deputy parliamentary group chair İdris Baluken told the Hürriyet Daily News Nov. 23.

“Those people were not born abroad and they are not fighting due to problems in foreign countries. They want this country’s problems to be solved. A real solution would be reached if their return to their own country was assured,” he said.

After the required legal and constitutional amendments are adopted for a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue, armed militants should be able to express themselves in the political arena in Turkey, Baluken added.

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay also stressed that the government’s main objective was getting the PKK to lay down its arms. “As our prime minister said, laying down arms is a fundamental [condition]. If there are to be meetings and efforts [regarding the Kurdish issue], getting arms to be laid down will be our primary objective,” Atalay told reporters in Ankara Nov. 23, adding that they were working on the issue of offering exile to PKK members in third countries. “In fact, we previously launched a study in regards with those who have not intervened in terrorism. We have different estimations for the others or those who are on the forefront of the terrorist organization... This is an issue on which it should be worked,” Atalay said.