No meeting with HDP deputy on Öcalan, says Erdoğan

No meeting with HDP deputy on Öcalan, says Erdoğan

No meeting with HDP deputy on Öcalan, says Erdoğan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 29 that he would not meet with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Zana unless she takes her oath in parliament, saying that such a meeting would not be held over the living conditions of the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

“First, I have to say that she fundamentally has to take an oath,” Erdoğan said, while speaking to reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

Deniz Baykal, the then-acting parliament speaker at the opening of parliament after the Nov. 1, 2015, elections, had not accepted Zana’s oath, as she used the phrase “the great nation of Turkey” instead of “the great Turkish nation.” 

“Unless she takes her oath in parliament, such acceptance [for a meeting] would not be mentioned.

However, her consultant or secretary said something [about the content of the meeting] by calling my aide. I mean, if she thinks about meeting over those subjects, she does not need to come,” Erdoğan said.

The president said those subjects were about the conditions of jailed PKK leader Abdullan Öcalan. 

“No one on earth has the same conditions as the head of terrorism gets in İmralı [prison],” he said.  

Erdoğan had said on Jan. 22 he would meet Zana.

“She [Zana] has such a demand. I discussed this [demand] at Beştepe [the Presidential Palace in Ankara] with my friends. I said, ‘I will evaluate this demand with my friends.’ After this evaluation, my opinion is to accept this meeting,” said Erdoğan.

Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also said on Jan. 27 that efforts to set a date for the meeting were underway.