PKK calls on US to be part of Kurdish peace process

PKK calls on US to be part of Kurdish peace process

DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
PKK calls on US to be part of Kurdish peace process

DHA photo

A senior figure from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has called on the United States to intervene in the Kurdish peace process, which has come to a halt due to PKK attacks on Turkish security forces and the Turkish government’s airstrikes on PKK base camps in northern Iraq. 

Talking to Voice of America radio, Zübeyir Aydar, a Europe-based leading figure in the PKK, said the U.S. should be part of the Kurdish peace process by bringing Turkish and Kurdish sides around a negotiation table.

“We want the U.S. Congress and White House to play a role in the Kurdish process that puts peace on the forefront … As the U.S. is involved in a dialogue with the Turks, we want [the U.S.] to form the same dialogue with the Kurds,” Aydar said Aug. 5. “[The U.S.] should bring us and Turkey around a table.” 

Aydar is among the top figures coordinating lobbying for the PKK in Europe and is an executive committee member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization that includes the PKK.

Aydar was set to meet with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in Brussels, where Demirtaş was also scheduled to meet other members of the PKK and KCK. 

Stating that the armed conflict needed to end on both sides, Aydar said the KCK and PKK were not parties of conflict and war, adding that they sought a democratic, political and peaceful solution to the problem. 

“We want a return to the negotiation table. These conflicts jeopardize the struggle against ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]. In this sense, international powers need to intervene in the process and talk with the parties,” Aydar said, adding that they wanted the Kurdish peace bid to continue.

Aydar said even though they aimed at continuing the process within the framework of an agreement, the Turkish government benefits from an armed conflict. 

“They say they are fighting against ISIL but this is only in words. They have friendly bonds with ISIL.

Everybody knows that there is only one force that is fighting ISIL and that is the YPG [People’s Protections Units] and the HPG [People’s Defense Forces]. And Turkey is bombarding the HPG’s center. This is a great support to ISIL,” Aydar said. 

Aydar was elected to parliament in 1991 when the now-defunct pro-Kurdish People’s Labor Party (HEP) entered the elections on the now-defunct Social Democratic People’s Party (SHP) ticket. When the HEP faced closure, he joined the Democracy Party (DEP), which was also closed.

Aydar moved to Europe in 1995 after the DEP was outlawed in 1994 for collaborating with the PKK. The decision for his arrest was released after his parliamentary immunity was lifted. He has been living in Europe since.