PKK retreat to ‘end Sept 1’ unless ruling AKP takes steps
‘If they [Turkish government] do not take necessary steps for the second phase. .. we will stop withdrawing on Sept 1,” says a senior PKK leader, Cemil Bayık. DHA photoA senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, Cemil Bayık, has said that they will continue to withdraw until Sept. 1 but the process would be reversed on that day if the Turkish government did not take “necessary steps.”
“We will continue to make efforts until Sept. 1. Our leader [Abdullah Öcalan, the PKK leader imprisoned for life] continues to make efforts too. If they do not take necessary steps for the second phase of the process, there will be nothing we could do... If we cannot see this, we will stop withdrawing on Sept. 1,” Bayık, the co-chief the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the urban wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), told the BBC’s Turkish service in an interview in the Kandil Mountains on Aug. 27.
Bayık also stressed that the withdrawal may be reversed in such a case.
“If they continue like this, the forces retreated will return to north [Turkey]. This is why they should not gain time or trick us,” he said. Bayık said the government should establish the commissions, proposed by Öcalan, as the initial step of the second phase. He said that if the eight commissions proposed by Öcalan were established, it would lead to a normalization process, resolution of the Kurdish question and Turkey’s democratization.
He also said that the negotiations were ongoing on an unequal ground, saying that the Turkish state could evaluate the process with all its institutions while Öcalan was holding meetings on his own. Bayık said in an interview with Newroz TV, broadcasting in Kurdish, that they should be allowed to meet Öcalan in İmralı Island prison, according to Doğan news agency. “Öcalan’s conditions must be improved and we should be able to visit [him in] İmralı,” said Bayık.
Bayık also accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of making preparations for a great war against the outlawed group, in his interview with BBC Turkish service. “They [AKP] are preparing for war, a great war, not resolution. They want to make a huge blow,” said Bayık.
Bayık claimed that the government did not have a solution to the Kurdish issue on its agenda.
Bayık said the AKP was planning to use the current peaceful atmosphere for their election campaign.
Bayık also denied the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks that only 20 percent of the PKK militants had retreated from Turkish soil, but refrained from giving any rate for those who withdrew. He said they did not promise any dates for beginning or ending of the withdrawal. He said they had not promised complete withdrawal until June 1, saying that there was no agreement or document on that issue.