Political parties divided over PKK withdrawal

Political parties divided over PKK withdrawal

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Political parties divided over PKK withdrawal

PKK militants search journalists during their arrival at the area where Karayılan would make his statement. DHA photo

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) April 25 announcement of the exact date of their withdrawal from Turkish territory has been interpreted by the two main opposition parties as proof of undisclosed concessions given to the organization by the government. However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which have both taken an active role in the process, welcomed the move. 

All that has happened has only shown that it is jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the PKK’s military leader Murat Karayılan who have made the decision about Turkey’s future, but not the government or the people, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu suggested, speaking to reporters.

Three-stage roadmap

“It is concerning that a three-stage road-map has been drawn and that they [the PKK] are imposing a situation on Turkey, as if they are the ones holding the authority,” Loğoğlu said. 

“Statements from Öcalan and Kandil are revealing the bargaining conducted with Öcalan. If there was no agreement on elements of the statement by Kandil, then this statement would not have been released. All of us want friendship and peace, but we cannot swallow the point to which the AKP has brought Turkey and our people,” he added. 

The PKK should hand over its arms instead of laying them down, Loğoğlu also said.

Security forces will not allow militants to 'withdraw freely': Nationalist leader

Meanwhile, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, questioned the sincerity of the PKK's withdrawal, slamming the government's management of the peace process. "The symbolic withdrawal is an insidious tactic aiming to gain time. Turkey is not a stopover or a rest area for terrorists," said Bahçeli in a statement. "Again, the submission of the AKP [to the PKK] is publicly attested. The security forces will not allow PKK terrorists to withdraw freely from Turkey." 

For his part, MHP's deputy parliamentary group chair Oktay Vural also argued that there is "no laying down of the arms." “The coup plan prepared in İmralı and Oslo will be legitimized by the PKK weapon. The PKK in the region will be turned into the KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union - the alleged urban wing of the PKK] and will be introduced as resolution plan,” Vural said. 

AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Ayşenur Bahçekapılı emphasized the importance of caution when discussing the issue. “We are in a delicate period. Everyone must be careful with the way they talk, with every word they say. If a withdrawal is happening, we cannot be anything other than glad. From now on, it will not be the holding of arms that will be talked about, but rather friends holding one another’s hands,” she said. 

Pervin Buldan, the deputy leader of the BDP, said yesterday that Turkey was experiencing a historic period, but also that the biggest tasks were still yet to begin. “We should express for Kurds that these people are now accepted as an addressee,” she said, adding that people were under no illusion that there will be peace so easily.

National Security Council discusses 'permanent result'

ISTANBUL -Hürriyet Daily News

The National Security Council (MGK) discussed the additional measures for ensuring that efforts for peace and security give a “permanent result,” according to a statement issued following the bi-monthly meeting on April 25 that gathered top civilian and military officials, implicitly referring to the ongoing peace process. 

“The pursuit of our determination in the fight against all terrorist organizations, the importance of coordination and partnership with the international community has been emphasized once again,” the statement read.