Meeting with PKK is not in the question: AKP deputy

Meeting with PKK is not in the question: AKP deputy

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Meeting with PKK is not in the question: AKP deputy

Ankara deputy Yalçın Akdoğan is known to be close to PM Tayyip Erdoğan. Hürriyet photo

A meeting between jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and Turkish officials is not in question, a senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said. However he said Turkey could negotiate if it’s necessary.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Ankara deputy Yalçın Akdoğan, who is known to be a close figure to PM Tayyip Erdoğan said meeting with “any wing of the organization or anyone from the PKK is not in the question.”“After all, these methods can be adopted by states. Dialogue or meeting does not always mean sophisticated negotiation. The warden sees a prisoner every day, does that mean a negotiation? Dialogue is an instrument that a state can use in various channels. There is not an ongoing meeting now, but it’s not right to make a binding comment on the subject,” he said.

When Akdoğan was asked if there had been a signal that Öcalan wants to participate in the process, he said the PKK had blocked him on several occasions, blocking the progress of negotiations.

“For a while, meetings stopped because Öcalan was giving instructions to lead the organization. Sometimes he did not accept meeting offers even from his family members. The silence has been presented as the result of isolation by the state or segregation, but that’s not true,” he said. Akdoğan put the blame on the PKK and said Kandil had knocked İmralı down and made those talks unnecessary.

“[Öcalan] was left speechless after all. He had no ability to lead or guide in that tangled, unsteady process. Kandil left Öcalan redundant many times; in fact they used him for their interests,” he added.
Akdoğan also said the official institutions could try different methods if they consider them necessary.

‘Lay down arms’

The same day, AKP Diyarbakır deputy Galip Ensarioğlu told daily Taraf, “The PKK should lay its arms down and participate in politics.”

“Abdullah Öcalan’s dominance over the PKK, his power and symbolic leadership is an opportunity for the Turkish state. Why is it an opportunity? Because he knows well that if there is no solution to the Kurdish issue there will be no progress in his state. The Turkish state must use this opportunity,” Ensarioğlu said.

“In the end the PKK is not a monolithic structure, it consists of a side which desires a solution and one that does not. In fact there are some who work for international intelligence organizations. The Oslo process was stopped after the Silvan incident but the ones who broke off this process, they were left useless. They saw without Öcalan they cannot take decisions.”

Ensarioğlu was referring to talks between Turkish intelligence officials and representatives of the PKK that were held abroad between 2009 and 2011 in meetings publicly known as the “Oslo talks.”

The talks reportedly collapsed after a PKK attack killed 13 soldiers near Silvan, Diyarbakır, in July 2011.