World Bulletin / News Desk
Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş has said a letter from Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), on his "roadmap" for the success of the current peace talks between the government and the PKK has reached BDP headquarters.
Speaking on Tuesday at his party's parliamentary group meeting, Demirtaş said the BDP received the letter that Öcalan sent and that the party will do its best to fulfill its role in the peace process. He added that the BDP might soon send a third delegation to visit Öcalan.
Demirtaş did not reveal the content of the letter but private broadcaster NTV claimed that Öcalan proposes a three-stage roadmap in the letter. The first phase of the process on the part of the PKK will be withdrawing all of its armed members from Turkey into northern Iraq. In the second phase, a "legal infrastructure" will be prepared for the process and in the third phase, which he reportedly calls the "normalization process," the state will enable PKK members who were not involved in crime to return to Turkey.
Turkish state authorities have been holding the “peace talks” with Öcalan since last October. The authorities believe the talks may lead to a timetable for the disarmament of militants. A delegation of Kurdish politicians traveled to İmralı Island over the weekend to discuss the negotiations. BDP deputies Pervin Buldan, Altan Tan and Sırrı Süreyya Önder were in the visiting delegation. At those talks, the PKK leader signaled the militant group may declare a cease-fire and release soldiers and state employees it is holding, according to a statement read by the politicians. Öcalan reportedly penned three letters on his "roadmap" for a solution, which were sent to the BDP, PKK commanders in Iraq's Kandil Mountains and senior PKK leaders in Europe.
During his speech on Tuesday, Demirtaş warned the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) not to try to take advantage of the peace process for future elections.
Demirtaş said for the last two months, the main agenda of the country has been the peace talks for the eventual disarming of the militant group. “Attention of people shows that people want peace in the country. People also think these negotiation talks will bring peace,” he added.
The BDP leader claimed that the AK Party's attitude shows that it ignores the contributions of others to the peace process and that this “scheming” is worrying the BDP. He added that the second point that worries the BDP is that AK Party has not yet drawn a roadmap for the peace process. “Peace will not come by chanting ‘peace, peace.' This is why our delegation went to visit Öcalan,” Demirtaş said.
The first meeting between Öcalan and Kurdish politicians as part of the negotiations took place on Jan. 4 when Ahmet 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 militant group.
Öcalan, imprisoned on İmralı, south of İstanbul in the Sea of Marmara, since his capture in 1999, has significant influence among PKK members and supporters. The Turkish state believes that talks with the leader may result in a timetable for the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey and their eventual laying down of weapons.Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2013, 16:01