PKK starts retreat as UK, EU ready to help peace bid

PKK starts retreat as UK, EU ready to help peace bid

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PKK starts retreat as UK, EU ready to help peace bid

Photo by an alleged PKK-linked agency shows the militants leaving Turkey. AFP photo

Britain has offered support to the peace process launched by the Turkish government to solve the three-decade Kurdish insurgency that has cost the lives of nearly 40,000. Ankara has yet to give either a positive or negative response, demonstrating Ankara’s projected stance throughout the recent process as “handling the issue domestically.”

Ankara’s policy on the process with regard to foreign partners was expressed by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recently stating, “This is a family matter. We’d like to solve it within the family.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron offered support to the Turkish government on the peace process, during a phone conversation over the weekend with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Cameron congratulated his Turkish counterpart on the government’s latest efforts to find a solution to the Kurdish problem. He cited his country’s past experiences with the IRA, expressing the British government’s willingness to extend expertise on conflict resolution if the Turkish government desired.

Erdoğan thanked Cameron for the offer, but did not give an immediate response for cooperation, bearing in mind the stance of the Turkish government in handling its recent peace initiative.

In a recent interview with the Hürriyet Daily News, Davutoğlu clarified Ankara’s position of not discussing the details of Turkey’s road map on the peace process with its foreign partners.

Davutoğlu said the government had been receiving encouraging support from the European Union and the U.S. regarding the process, but it had not become a part of official talks between himself and his counterparts.
“I am not talking about the process [with them], except for chatting about the known facts. One guest foreign minister asked us to make it an item of the joint agenda, but I refused. We are talking about the crime side of it with our counterparts,” he said.