Watch your tongue, Ankara tells PKK
A man rides a motorcycle past Turkish troops guarding Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga soldiers prior to their departure to the Syrian city of Kobane. AP Photo / Vadim GhirdaDeputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has warned the military leaders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after they suggested that the group’s jailed head could achieve their coming party congress if the peace process comes to fruition.
“Unreal, untimely and provocative statements delivered from Kandil will bring no use to the process,” Akdoğan said in a message posted on his Twitter account Dec. 24.
Kandil is a byword for the leadership of the PKK, whose headquarters are in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq. Akdoğan’s message was an apparent response to remarks delivered by senior PKK military leader Murat Karayılan.
If the government-led peace process, which the government prefers to call the resolution process, aimed at ending the three-decade-long conflict between the PKK and Turkey’s security forces eventually reaches its goal, the PKK will hold an expanded congress in April 2015, Karayılan said in remarks delivered to Rojnews, a media outlet based in Iraqi Kurdistan, on Dec. 23.
“If the peace process achieves its goal, [jailed PKK leader] Abdullah Öcalan will also attend the congress that will be held in April 2015,” Karayılan was quoted as saying by Rojnews.
His remarks came only a day after both the government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) simultaneously announced the stalled peace process had entered a “new phase,” with the HDP emphasizing that Öcalan will assume a more central role in the new phase.
According to Akdoğan, however, Karayılan’s statement was not opportune.
“It is an anachronistic situation,” Akdoğan said in his message on Twitter. “They are either lingering on the past or scattered by a small future or dream. Those who wake up to yesterday everyday cannot live in the present,” he added.
In the same statement delivered by Rojnews, Karayılan told the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to stick to the “draft negotiation framework,” which is at the center of the peace process after being drawn up by Öcalan and shared with both the HDP and the PKK leadership in the Kandil Mountains.
“We are ready for Öcalan’s resolution draft. Everybody should know that if the AKP continues like this, then it means that it is turning its face toward war,” Karayılan said.
Karayılan’s tone was shared by Cemil Bayık, co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization that includes the PKK, in an interview aired on Dec. 22.
The government has been constantly stalling the process, Bayık told the İMC TV channel.
“We set a timeline in order to prevent, yet again, the stalling and deception,” Bayık said, adding that they would disclose Öcalan’s “Democratic Solution and Negotiation Draft” if the government fails to stick to the timeline.
“A very short time is left before the elections,” Bayık said, referring to parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2015. “Moreover, [the date of the elections] may be brought forward because of various reasons. We would not accept it, if the AKP says ‘There is no time, we cannot hold negotiations and they should be put off until after the elections. Whatever happened on Oct. 8, similar things may happen again,” Bayık added, in a reference to street violence in early October which claimed dozens of lives in country-wide protests against the government’s perceived inaction over the Islamic Republic of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) assault on the Kurdish-populated town of Kobane in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey.
Amid the mutual exchange of such warning messages, a HDP delegation Dec. 24 departed for the Kandil Mountains in order to evaluate the state of affairs surrounding the peace process with executives of the KCK.
The HDP delegation was composed of HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, independent Diyarbakır deputy Leyla Zana and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Hatip Dicle.
In the Thracian province of Edirne, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu underlined the importance his government attaches to maintaining public order, while reiterating their firm will to resume the resolution process.
The debate between the government and the HDP executives over public order and security reached a fever pitch after the October unrest.
“For us, the resolution process is a new integration process crowned with democracy for the revival of national unity and togetherness,” Davutoğlu told at an expanded meeting of his ruling party’s provincial chairs, as he dubbed the stagnation within the process which stemmed from street unrests as “temporary.”
“When a concession is made on public order, then the resolution process cannot operate either,” he said. “Public order will be and has been completely built in each and every province, district, town and village of Turkey, from Edirne to Hakkari; and it will be continuously protected.”