HDP expects PKK to cease attacks
Bülent Sarıoğlu – ANKARA
AA photoThe Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said it expects the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to soon cease attacks following a breakdown in a two-year truce.
“I believe a statement about ceasing the attacks will come. We do not know this for sure; there is no information that has been officially conveyed to us,” HDP Deputy Group Chair Pervin Buldan said Oct. 9.
“If a positive atmosphere is created and we enter the election environment like this, this sensibility will be taken into consideration by all,” said Buldan.
Asked about the PKK’s possible ceasing of attacks, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş also said they hoped to soon see an end to violence.
“I hope that we get a result in the near future. We do not have solid information or data in our hands but the place we have brought our works forces us to be hopeful,” said Demirtaş on Oct. 9, during a meeting with shopkeepers in Istanbul. “Nobody should lose their hope for peace.”
Bese Hozat, the co-chair of the Kurdish Communities Union’s (KCK) General Presidency Council, penned an article to the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem on Oct. 8, stating that the PKK would “once again take a historical stance that would contribute more to the big victory the HDP will get in the Nov. 1 polls” and thus “frustrate the AKP’s disgusting plans once again and also call [them] to account.”
But Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan dismissed Oct. 9 talk of a possible PKK cease-fire ahead of the Nov. 1 general election as a “ploy” and pledged that the government would continue to fight “until it gets a result.”
“Right now, this has no value whatsoever or any credibility for that matter,” Akdoğan said in an interview with a private broadcaster on Oct. 9.
“Summer or winter, as long as there are terrorist attacks and armed people continue to victimize other people and disregard for the rule of law continues to exist, security measures and operations will continue,” Akdoğan said.
Meanwhile, KCK Executive Council co-chair Cemil Bayık said the PKK was ready for a new cease-fire with Turkish authorities despite almost three months of deadly violence that has killed more than 120 Turkish security forces and even more PKK militants since late July.
“We are ourselves ready for a cease-fire now,” Bayık told Agence France-Presse in an interview in the group’s stronghold of the Kandil mountains in northern Iraq.
But Bayık – who along with Murat Karayılan is considered the PKK’s top commander on the ground in the absence of its imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan – warned of a drastic PKK response if Turkey continued its military campaign.
“If the Turkish government continues with its logic of war, whether we want it or not, other cemeteries will fill up and the conflict will extend to all of Turkey, Syria and the Middle East,” Bayık said.
“We don’t want war. We have tried to go down the political and democratic path to move the dialogue forwards,” Bayık said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the PKK thought they could fool the nation with the term “non-conflict situation.”
“They believe that they can trick the nation with a term such as ‘non-conflict situation.’ They try to blame the government and myself. They try to make out an invoice towards the state for the clashes. Whereas, it is obvious who led to the clashes,” Erdoğan told daily Hürriyet columnist Vahap Munyar on board the presidential plane from Tokyo to Istanbul. “It is open who threatens the nation.”