Öcalan has experienced positive change of attitude: Justice Minister
AA photoThe jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan has had a “positive change of attitude,” the Turkish Justice Minister has said, expressing optimism for the ongoing peace talks.
“Öcalan is evaluating more healthily the real political situation of both Turkey and the [Kurdish] region. There is a change of attitude in a positive direction compared to the past. That’s why the [peace] process has been initiated again,” said Sadullah Ergin, responding to questions from journalist Taha Akyol on private TV station CNN Türk.
The Turkish government engaged in new talks with Öcalan after the national intelligence chief Hakan Fidan met with the imprisoned PKK leader late in December. The optimism generated by this fresh initiative has remained, despite the recent killings of three Kurdish women in Paris, including a co-founder of the PKK.
“Imralı island [where the PKK leader is sentenced to life imprisonment] is one of the pillars. There are also subjects where we are in contact with representatives of the Peace and Democracy Party [BDP]. There are the other political parties involved too. The National Intelligence Agency [MİT] also has its own contacts," said Ergin. "The important issue is the purpose of the talks. We aren't doing it for the sake of appearances.”
In the same interview, the justice minister also welcomed the fact that Parliament had finally approved a change in the law allowing for legal defense to be conducted in the defendant's mother tongue.