Opposition questions house arrest for Öcalan
REUTERS photoOpposition parties are not convinced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks that recent initiatives on the Kurdish question will not pave the way for the transition of Abdullah Öcalan, convicted leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), from a life-long jail sentence to house arrest.
“The ruling party is trying to persuade people to amnesty for Öcalan. Otherwise, what do they talk about? Are they having coffee or tea together? The prime minister has accused those who said the government had talks with the PKK of being dishonored, but what happened recently?” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy parliamentary group chair Oktay Vural told reporters yesterday.
Erdoğan said Jan. 6 that general amnesty for those who engaged in acts of terror was out of the question “There are false stories about house arrest for [Öcalan]. This is out of the question. It will never happen during an AKP government,” he said.
Vural also slammed the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for “issuing credit for separatism,” referring the CHP leader recently throwing his support to the government’s talks with Öcalan.
CHP deputy parliamentary group chair, Emine Ülker Tarhan, called on the government to disclose what they had promised to Öcalan during talks. “The prime minister said there will be no house arrest or amnesty [granted]. But he had previously said they did not hold talks [with Öcalan]. Now please explain, what will you give and what will you get in return?” Tarhan said.
Tarhan alluded to a connection between upcoming elections and the initiation of talks with Öcalan, touching on the fact the government held secret talks with the PKK in Oslo before the 2011 elections. “We will have a number of elections soon. I hope recent process is not a similar one,” Tarhan said.