Demirtaş says PKK ready to return to negotiations, quoting a senior PKK figure
CİHAN photoThe outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has received the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) message for a ceasefire, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said, citing a European-based PKK senior figure as saying the PKK were ready to sit down for negotiations if the dialogue was restarted.
Upon a question on whether or not the PKK had received the HDP’s message on a ceasefire, Demirtaş claimed the organization had gotten the message and Remzi Kartal, a senior PKK member in Europe and a former deputy in the Turkish parliament, said they were ready to return to the table to continue the negotiations.
“[The PKK] has perceived [the message.] Even an answer came to it. In Europe Remzi Kartal said they were ready to return to the table and a ceasefire,” Demirtaş told Deutsche Welle Türkçe in a private interview.
Kartal was elected to the Turkish parliament in 1991 when the now-defunct pro-Kurdish People’s Labor Party (HEP) entered the elections on the now-defunct Social Democratic People’s Party (SHP) ticket. When the HEP faced closure, they joined the Democracy Party (DEP), also now defunct.
Kartal moved to Europe in 1995 after the DEP was outlawed in 1994 for collaborating with the PKK. A decision for his arrest was released after his parliamentary immunity was lifted. He has been living in Europe since then.
Stating the PKK and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) could not be put in the same equation, Demirtaş said the PKK was an organization which has been conducting negotiations with the Turkish government for the past three years and an organization that announced it was ready for a ceasefire.
“It is wiser and more beneficial for Turkey to establish a dialogue with an organization that is ready to talk rather than conduct airstrikes,” Demirtaş said.
The HDP co-chair said the Kurdish peace process was not over and they had to be hopeful for it to continue. “Peace would end when hopes fail,” he said.