Strikes block way for new Oslo talks: Atalay

Strikes block way for new Oslo talks: Atalay

Strikes block way for new Oslo talks: Atalay

The hunger strikes in prisons sabotage the process for talks with the PKK, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay says. AA photo

The government was ready to conduct new talks with Kurdish militants like they did in Oslo between 2009 and 2011, but ongoing hunger strikes in Turkish prisons torpedoed any new initiative, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has indicated.

“We are preparing suitable ground. We are taking our steps with good intention. In the latest process, the ground was ready. However, the hunger strikes in prisons sabotaged the process. Whenever we take such steps with good intentions, some people sabotage this process,” Atalay said.

Still, “meetings” should continue in the hopes of making a resolution real, Atalay said during a Nov. 3 meeting with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies at a closed-door session at the party’s annual Kızılcahamam gathering.

Noting that the struggle against militancy has economic and cultural aspects in addition to the security aspect, Atalay said the government would not retreat from taking the initiative in any of these spheres.Some 682 prisoners in 67 prisons staged the 54th day of their hunger strike yesterday, according to the Justice Ministry. Despite numerous protests, there is no sign yet of an end to the action.

Pepper gas on deputies

Meanwhile, police used pepper gas and water cannon yesterday on a group of people, including deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), who attempted to issue a statement in Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood to draw attention to the hunger strikes, which entered their 54th day yesterday.

The group included prominent names such as singer Ferhat Tunç and BDP deputies Aysel Tuğluk and Sabahat Tuncel. Three people were detained after the clashes between the police and the demonstrators, while several journalists were injured by stones.