World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told press on Sunday that he will evaluate the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) request to send three Kurdish politicians to visit the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan, to join in peace negotiations.
Ahmet Türk, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and an independent deputy; BDP Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş; and BDP parliamentary group deputy chairwoman Pervin Buldan are the three politicians named in a petition prepared by the BDP on Friday.
Speaking at an opening ceremony for several public buildings built by the Mardin Municipality, Prime Minister Erdoğan said the petition has been submitted by the BDP to the Justice Ministry and that he will meet with Justice Ministry officials on Sunday evening to decide whether to allow the three to visit Öcalan.
Over the past several weeks, there has been uncertainty and debates over which Kurdish politicians will join the peace talks between the government and the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
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 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 the militant leader may result in a schedule for the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey and their eventual disarmament.Last Mod: 17 Şubat 2013, 15:43