Kurds should not lay down arms, deputy says

Kurds should not lay down arms, deputy says

Kurds should not lay down arms, deputy says

Leyla Zana. AFP photo

Kurds should not lay down their arms because weapons are the community’s “insurance policy,” Diyarbakır independent deputy Leyla Zana has said.

“The armed conflict forced everyone to choose a side. I would never argue for the laying down of arms,” she was quoted as saying.

“Weapons are the insurance policy for Kurds, and they will remain so as long as the [Kurdish issue] persists,” Zana said.

Commenting on rumors that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was preparing to issue a unilateral cease-fire, Zana said she did not believe any unilateral act would effect a solution.  
Zana said there was mutual mistrust between all sides in the conflict resulting from past experiences, especially due to events in the 1980s. 

"Certain steps need to be taken to overcome this mistrust. I think the biggest step should be taken by the state because Kurds are being wronged and the state is the wrongdoer,” she said. 
“The laying down of arms by Kurds should not be discussed before Kurds are granted a status – a legal guarantee," Zana said, adding that she was in favor of stopping the guns from killing young people.

“When dialogue begins in the future and we take a look back, we will feel sorry and hurt for the youth,” Zana said.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.