‘Expanded HDP delegation’ to visit Öcalan Nov 30
The most frequent visitors of the PKK leader so far have been the party’s deputy parliamentary group chairs, İdris Baluken (C) and Pervin Buldan (R), and its Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder.An exact date has been set for the visit of a parliamentary delegation to the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced on Nov. 25.
“An expanded HDP delegation” will visit Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara, on Nov. 30, the party’s press office announced, without elaborating on any new members of the delegation.
The most frequent visitors of the PKK leader so far have been the party’s deputy parliamentary group chairs, İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, and its Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder.
Öcalan has been in dialogue with state officials, the HDP and its predecessor, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), since at least late 2012, and is playing a central role in the process.
However, the talks have stalled since early October, when street violence claimed dozens of lives in countrywide protests against the government’s perceived inaction over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) assault on the Kurdish-populated town of Kobane in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.
Gov’t: HDP putting PKK leader into difficult position
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has for his part criticized the HDP, saying "unreasonable demands" are putting not only the government, but also Öcalan into a difficult position,
“The HDP is fulfilling a very important duty today. As a political party, as lawmakers who represent the people, and as a political wing in contact with Öcalan and other stakeholders in the resolution process, they should be acting with much more responsibility, understanding and honesty in how they conduct their relations with the government. When they act outside of this, the resolution process is negatively affected,” Arınç said late on Nov. 24, in response to criticism leveled at him by HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş.
He said the HDP executives should “prioritize the peace process over their ego,” as there are “a thousand plots” in front of the process.
“They should trust us, as we trust them. If there is mistrust, then it will not be possible and this matter cannot continue,” Arınç said, while also adding that the government was open to the idea of visits by “different people” to the jailed leader of the PKK.