HDP persistent on visual message from Öcalan on Nevruz
ANKARAThere is no legal obstacle preventing the head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from sending a visual Nevruz message to festivities in Diyarbakır on March 21, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has said.
“Of course it would be good if it happens. It has no aspect which is against our laws. Forgetting about the law, if a serious step is to be taken for peace, a visual message would have a great contribution,” Demirtaş said March 12.
Demirtaş also noted his party’s desires for a monitoring delegation to accompany a delegation from the HDP during its next visit to PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence in the İmralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea.
“In the coming days, our delegation will probably go to İmralı. We don’t know what kind of a result will come from the meeting and whether a Nevruz call will come out,” Demirtaş said when asked about March 11 remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan suggesting that “this Nevruz will mark a milestone” in the peace process.
“We can see this only after the meeting takes place. There is nothing new yet at this stage,” Demirtaş said, speaking to reporters as he paid a visit to the headquarters of the Hacı Bektaş Veli Anadolu Culture Foundation.
“It would be an appropriate approach which needs to exist politically too, but there is no decision that the government has made other than some speculative discussions,” Demirtaş added.
On March 11, HDP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pervin Buldan, also a frequent visitor to Öcalan as part of HDP delegations, said her group would ask the government to ensure that Öcalan’s next message to be relayed in Diyarbakır on Nevruz be visual, or at least audio.
“This is the demand of the people. From now on, we want Mr. Öcalan himself to address the masses and the people,” Buldan said.
Demirtaş, meanwhile, noted that no exact date has yet been set for their next meeting with governmental officials.
When asked about steps that have so far been taken for the formation of a monitoring body, a key demand by both Öcalan and the HDP, Demirtaş said there had been no development on the issue.
“Also on this matter, there is nothing that has been conveyed to us by the government side indicating that a concrete development will take place. I hope that it happens. We believe that going to the island along with the monitoring delegation would be helpful,” Demirtaş said, underlining that it is the Justice Ministry who should pave the way for official permission for such a visit since the prison where Öcalan stays is under their jurisdiction.
“There is also need for a display of political will by the government,” he added.