PM Erdoğan: No concessions made during Kurdish peace process

PM Erdoğan: No concessions made during Kurdish peace process

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
PM Erdoğan: No concessions made during Kurdish peace process

Erdoğan speaks during an iftar dinner event on July 22. AA Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said July 22 he had never made concessions during the ongoing process to find a solution to the Kurdish problem, addressing the relatives of fallen soldiers at an iftar dinner in Ankara.

“We have made significant progress in the resolution process so far. We have not had any fallen soldiers recently as a result. I want to emphasize this once again: No concessions have been made in any way. We have never shaken hands with the leader of the terror [a phrase widely used for Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] or terrorists, unlike some politicians have claimed,” Erdoğan said.

The presidential hopeful also recalled that Öcalan was mainly serving a life sentence because the death penalty was abolished after he was captured by Turkey. He said the politicians who abolished the death penalty, which included the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, had no right to criticize the government’s steps in the peace process today.

“We started this process by taking serious risks. We have been subject to many threats, secret or open attacks, and plots inside and outside the country, after we started this process to prevent blood from being shed,” Erdoğan added.

More than 3,500 people, all relatives of fallen Turkish soldiers, were nominated for public sector employment through a draw during the event.

Erdoğan said such a right was introduced for the relatives with a law enforced in February, adding that 8,000 people had so far applied to benefit from this right so far.

He also said the government was working on building a cemetery dedicated to Turkey’s fallen soldiers in India, Slovakia, Poland and Myanmar.