Turkish PM Erdoğan rules out negotiations with PKK

Turkish PM Erdoğan rules out negotiations with PKK

IĞDIR / VAN - Doğan News Agency
Turkish PM Erdoğan rules out negotiations with PKK

No talks but fighting with the outlawed PKK, Prime Minister Erdoğan says. DHA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ruled out any new start to negotiations with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), vowing instead to continue military operations until the group disarms.

“Negotiations and meetings between the terrorist organization and our government are out of the question,” Erdoğan said July 13, speaking in the eastern province of Iğdır. “We can only fight the separatist terror organization, and this fight will continue until they lay down their arms.”

The prime minister said the PKK could negotiate with “their representatives in the Parliament,” in a reference to the lawmakers of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which also came under criticism from Erdoğan later in the day.

“[Independent lawmaker] Leyla Zana made a statement in which she voiced her hope that a solution would be found [to the Kurdish issue]. However, she became a target of both the PKK and the BDP,” Erdoğan said, speaking at an opening ceremony in the eastern province of Van, his second stop on June 13. “Now they are trying to silence Zana with threats. That is what the terror organization and its extension do,” Erdoğan said.

Zana, who was elected with the support of the BDP from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in the June 12, 2011 elections, met with Erdoğan on June 30. Their meeting came two weeks after she said that Erdoğan could solve the Kurdish issue and that she had never lost hope that he would do so.

Erdoğan accused the BDP of trying to maintain the status quo, but still voiced his optimism that a solution could be achieved. “We have been working to solve problems that stem from terrorism for nine and a half years. All the games based on guns, death, pain, pressure and threats have been [eradicated],” he said.