PKK will never withdraw, lay down arms: Nationalist party leader

PKK will never withdraw, lay down arms: Nationalist party leader

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PKK will never withdraw, lay down arms: Nationalist party leader

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli. DHA photo

The media has been serving the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by misleading the public to think PKK militants have really been withdrawing from Turkey, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said.

“However, the terrorists are neither out nor withdrawing,” Bahçeli said July 14 at a press conference held at the MHP headquarters.

“As we have stated from the beginning, the PKK’s withdrawal or laying down of its arms will never happen,” he said. Bahçeli maintained that the deputy prime minister who in early 2013 said “Our target is getting the PKK lay down its arms,” was actually “shamelessly mocking the nation’s reason and insight.”

“The PKK has been raising its spirits; swathing its wounds; pulling back only its old and worn-out hitmen; conducting rehearsals for “serhildan” [uprising in Kurdish], that’s to say having rebellion rehearsals; cleaning its weapons amid resolution confusion; and counting the days to autonomy.”

Last week, Murat Karayılan, the former leader of the PKK and newly appointed leader of the PKK’s armed wing, the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), said the peace process between Turkey and the PKK may see a deadlock in the coming days “if Turkey fails to step forward.”

Also last week, Interior Minister Muammer Güler suggested that the government had not launched the second phase of the peace process because the PKK had still not finalized the withdrawal of its members.

On the very same day, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said the second phase of the peace process had already started.

“The start of second stage is already in the process of debate. The reforms have not started,” Demirtaş said, adding that the government should take a step in order to engage the second phase. “Now, we are waiting for the government.” He added that the majority of the PKK members had already pulled back.

Bahçeli, meanwhile, maintained that “the first phase which was claimed to end with the withdrawal of the PKK rebels served for the spread of terrorists around the entire country and solidification of their positions.”

Bahçeli harshly criticized the government for naming an airport set to open in the southeastern province of Şırnak at the end of the month after late Şerafettin Elçi in tribute to the iconic Kurdish politician. Calling Elçi a “separatist,” Bahçeli claimed that this meant that jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s name might also be given to, for example, the island where he is serving a life sentence.