Turkish Parliament is an opportunity for Kurds, Barzani says
FM Davutoğlu (R) welcomes Kurdistan Regional Government leader Barzani at the Foreign Ministry residence in Ankara. AA photo
Kurdish members of the Turkish Parliament now have an opportunity to make their influence felt, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani has said while speaking out against ongoing violence in Turkey.
“The opposition can be transformed into peaceful
demonstrations in city streets, the Parliament and elsewhere. There is no need for violence. We have told
the Kurdish political leaders that they should resolve the problem by peaceful
means,” Barzani said in an interview with French media. “While it is true that
Turkey has a problem with the Kurds, there must be a peaceful solution to the
While it is true that Turkey has a problem with the Kurds, there must be a peaceful solution to the “Kurdish problem,” he said.
Barzani has reiterated a call on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to cease its armed struggle against Turkey, while speaking out against ongoing violence in Turkey.
"Where the situation in Turkey is concerned, we uphold the rights of Kurds in that country. But we believe that the change in Turkish policy can be used to achieve further progress in the recognition of these rights. The PKK’s strategy of armed combat is no longer necessary. We neither accept nor support it. We are against this war and this violence,” Barzani said in an interview with the French magazine L'Essentiel des relations internationals, which had asked the northern Iraqi leader for his opinion on how he reconciled his support for Turkey’s Kurds with his burgeoning relations with Ankara, as well as his stance on the PKK.
Barzani also said Iraq did not want relations with Turkey to deteriorate and expressed his willingness to help develop further economic cooperation between the two countries.
Syrian Kurds are being trained for defense
Some Kurdish refugees from Syria are being trained in the region in an effort to make them capable of defending themselves amid the Arab republic’s violence, Barzani reportedly said following a question.
“There are between 10,000 and 15,000 Kurdish refugees from Syria in Kurdistan. Many of them are young men. It is true that some of them have received training,” Barzani said. “They have not been trained for attack, but for defense. The regions where they live have no system of defense, and they need to be able to preserve them from chaos.”