Turkey rejected return to talks with PKK: HDP co-chair
ISTANBUL - Reuters
DHA photoThe outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) wanted a return to talks with the Turkish government amid the worst violence in decades in the country’s southeastern provinces, however Ankara rejected the overture, the co-chair of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has claimed.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said his party had successfully persuaded PKK figures based in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq to return to the negotiating table.
“A few months ago, we were in contact with Kandil in an effort to return to the negotiating table. The [Justice and Development Party - AKP] government knew that we were working for this, but the government rejected it,” Demirtaş said during a news conference in Istanbul.
“Kandil said it was ready for talks, but Ankara said there would be absolutely no return to the table. As long as it says this, can there be a one-sided negotiating table?” he inquired.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spearheaded a historic peace process with the PKK before it collapsed last year, has publicly ruled out a return to negotiations and vowed to crush the outlawed group.
Demirtaş said the loss of civilian life and the security operations in southeast Turkey violated the international conventions on war crimes, including collective punishment.