Turkish president to meet HDP lawmaker
ISTANBULTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he will meet Leyla Zana, a deputy from the Kurdish-problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul on Jan. 22 over Zana’s request to meet with the president, Erdoğan said the HDP Ağrı deputy made the request.
“She [Zana] has such a demand. We discussed this [demand] at Beştepe [the Presidential Palace in Ankara] with our friends.
I said, ‘I will evaluate this demand with my friends.’ After this evaluation, my opinion is to accept this meeting,” said Erdoğan.
Zana has previously met with Erdoğan over the ongoing Kurdish problem.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said on Jan. 22 that Zana’s demand to meet Erdoğan was not done on behalf of the party, but was a personal request. However, Demirtaş said the party welcomed any initiative paving the way to an end to the ongoing clashes in southeastern Turkey.
Zana’s request came at a time when the clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish security forces have intensified, with several towns in the southeastern Turkey are under months-long curfew.
Zana and Erdoğan first met on June 30, 2012, when she told Erdoğan that security-based policies, which have been employed for years in an attempt to resolve the Kurdish issue, had borne no fruit.
,Zana also suggested putting imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan under house arrest instead could be helpful in the quest of a solution. “I emphasized that this country, which broke a taboo like [abolishing] the death penalty, could put Mr. Öcalan under house arrest and that this has vital importance,” she said.