PKK withdrawal not finished yet: Interior minister
‘We see that the PKK has not pulled back all [its members], but they are on the move,’ Interior Minister Muammer Güler has said. DHA photoThe government has not launched the second phase of the peace process, Interior Minister Muammer Güler said, as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has still not finalized the withdrawal of its members from Turkish territory.
The government has not started the second phase of the process because “required conditions have not been met,” Güler told reporters on July 10 after a meeting with Somalia’s Interior Minister Abdirahman Hussein Guled.
“We see that the PKK has not pulled back all [its members], but they are on the move,” he noted.
“This issue is not solely related to our government. This step is about solving long standing, deep problems,” Güler said, adding that everyone should act "responsibly and prudently" during the process.
The peace process is “legitimate” in all aspects, the minister said, but warned that nobody had the right to “operate outside the law and ignore the state system” during the process. “Whoever attempts to sabotage the process for his own agenda will harm himself. We should assess some recent incidents in this manner.”
Underlining that the confidence of the Turkish people in the peace process was increasing, Güler warned against the exploitation of this confidence.
However, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş argued that 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, stressing that the government should take a step in order to engage the second phase. “Now, we are waiting for the government,” he added.
The majority of the PKK members have already pulled back, according to Demirtaş.
“Withdrawal has been running every day. They are walking at every hour ... I don’t know the percentage of the total withdrawal, but it can finalize in a week or 15 days. I don’t think the PKK is able to count it, but they are all on move,” Demirtaş said, adding that the pull back was being conducted "systematically."