Euro Commission ‘backs İmralı talks’

Euro Commission ‘backs İmralı talks’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Euro Commission ‘backs İmralı talks’

Torbjorn Jagland. AFP photo

Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland welcomed talks between Turkish officials and Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), drawing attention to the risks of the process such as recent assassinations in Paris.

“I welcome this development very much,” Jagland said in an interview with daily Hürriyet yesterday. “It is a very courageous move by Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and it deserves to receive international support. In Strasbourg we are watching the talks with great interest. It is indeed encouraging. It is remarkable that this takes place in such a challenging time. I hope that talks take place in transparency so that the public is aware of the developments. That is the only way of securing public support for the talks.”

Jagland also emphasized the difficulties Turkey could face while navigating the talks, adding that the Kurdish issue was affecting Europe as well.

“I share the assessment that the process of resolving such a difficult problem will be difficult. One way of succeeding is mobilizing public support. It will be good for Turkey to find an end to this conflict. It will be good for Europe as well, because the conflict is affecting European countries as we have seen in Paris,” Jagland said.

Jaglan also said it was crucial the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) contribute to the talks.

“This is also a new thing and should be welcomed. I hope the government and the opposition can keep it together,” he said.

Jagland made comments on the executions of three female Kurdish political activists in central Paris on Jan. 10, all shot in the head, saying he hoped that it would not harm the talks. “It is totally unacceptable. I condemn these murders strongly,” he said.