HDP’s Önder: Kurdish settlement process should not come to a halt

HDP’s Önder: Kurdish settlement process should not come to a halt

HDP’s Önder: Kurdish settlement process should not come to a halt

HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder is flanked by İdris Baluken (L) and Pervin Buldan (R) during a statement on Oct. 9 after a meeting with Deputy PM Yalçın Akdoğan. AA Photo

A leading deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said Turkey’s stalled peace process should not be sacrificed due to the turmoil that has erupted over the government’s reluctance to take action against the jihadist attack on the Syrian border town of Kobane.

“Before all else, we extend our condolences to our 23 siblings who lost their lives in the these recent incidents,” HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder said on Oct. 9, referring to those who have been killed in riots across the country, in which Kurds have complained that the government is doing nothing to protect their kin.

Önder was speaking to reporters following an-hour-long meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan in Ankara. The HDP’s deputy parliamentary group chairs, İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, also participated in the meeting.

As a member of the Cabinet, Akdoğan is actively involved in the government-led process aimed at ending the three-decade-long fight between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey’s security forces. The three HDP deputies are also frequent visitors to the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is a central player in the process.

“We conveyed our concerns and listened to his concerns. We will convey the impressions we got here to our co-leaders,” Önder said, referring to HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

The HDP’s leaders, along with the co-leaders of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the sister party of the HDP, and the co-leaders of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a multi-party based group inspired by the PKK, were set to hold a joint press conference in Diyarbakır later in the day.

“Advancing the negotiation process that was initiated by Mr. Öcalan without coming to a halt and in a way that will turn into a democratic attainment for the entire country is the joint desire for all of us,” Önder said.

“There are fatal massacres at the moment. Today, the way for resolving all of these [issues] passes through not losing the meaningful dialogue process,” he added.

Önder also noted that a detailed statement should be expected from the Diyarbakır meeting.

The meeting between the HDP delegation and the government came a day after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s willingness to help Syrian refugees and its determination to pursue peace talks with the PKK would not be affected by the “vandalism” of protesters in the southeast.