BDP delegation leaves for Imrali island

The delegation will meet jailed head of PKK on the island, they would make a statement after the meeting

BDP delegation leaves for Imrali island

World Bulletin/News Desk

Deputies Pervin Buldan, Sirri Sureyya Onder and Altan Tan of Peace & Democracy Party (BDP) left for Imrali island on Saturday.

The delegation will meet Abdullah Ocalan, jailed head of PKK, who has been kept in prison on Imrali.

Onder told reporters that they would make a statement after the meeting, adding that it was not certain when they would return from the island.

The delegation will reach the island by a boat of Coastal Security Directorate.

Turkish Justice Ministry allowed on Thursday a delegation from BDP to visit Ocalan on Imrali island within the scope of peace talks.

BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas indicated that the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will avoid attitudes which will obstruct meetings regarding the Imrali process, the negotiation process between the ruling AK Party (JDP) and leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Demirtas stated that “After the meetings [with Ocalan], we will ensure the delivery of the messages to [the Qandil Mountains]. We do not necessarily have to go to Qandil,” referring to the PKK leaders in the Qandil Mountains.

The Justice Ministry on Thursday approved a list of deputies from the pro-Kurdish party BDP who sought permission to visit Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the PKK. This followed after a long controversy over the deputies to be included in the delegation that will visit Ocalan at Imrali island as part of ongoing peace talks to disarm the PKK.

The first meeting between Öcalan and Kurdish politicians as part of the negotiations took place on Jan. 4 when Türk and BDP deputy Ayla Akat Ata visited İmralı.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, has waged a bloody campaign for self-rule in predominantly Kurdish southeast Anatolia since 1984. More than 40,000 people, including civilians and security forces, have been killed in clashes with the terrorist group.

Öcalan, imprisoned on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara, south of İstanbul, since his capture in 1999, has significant influence among PKK members and supporters. The Turkish state believes that talks with him may result in a schedule for the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey and their eventual laying down of weapons.

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2013, 15:24
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