MGK never discussed PKK, army chief says

MGK never discussed PKK, army chief says

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Talks between intelligence officials and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have not been discussed at the National Security Council (MGK) since at least year, Turkey’s top soldier has said.

“The [current] Chief of General Staff [Gen. Necdet Özel] attended MGK meetings as the commander of the gendarmerie between August 2010 and August 2011. No such issue came up to the agenda during those meetings,” the General Staff said in response to a written question by Radikal.

Özel, who became the chief of the General Staff at the beginning of August 2011, said earlier this month that he learned of talks between the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the PKK only when an audio tape of the meetings was leaked on the Internet in September and added that he was still unsure as to whether the tape was genuine.

In remarks to Radikal, an unnamed government official contested Özel’s statement, saying contacts with the PKK were discussed at the MGK’s bi-monthly meetings.

MİT officials are known to have held several rounds of talks with PKK militants in Europe as well as with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of İmralı as part of efforts to settle the Kurdish conflict.

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