Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Premier Played Key Role in Turkey-PKK Talks, Official Says

By 10/4/2013
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Photo: AP
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Photo: AP


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani played a key role in starting the historic peace talks between Turkey and its separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said a Kurdish official involved in the negotiations.

PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been jailed on Turkey’s Imrali island ever since he was captured in 1999, called on his fighters last month to lay down their arms, ending a three-decade war that has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives nationwide.

“Barzani was able to untie the knot between Ankara and Imrali,” said Muhammad Penjweni, a member of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK), which has close ties to the PKK and Ocalan.

Penjweni said it was Barzani who convinced Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to start direct negotiations with Ocalan. He told Rudaw that he accompanied Barzani five months ago to the Qandil Mountain in Iraqi Kurdistan, where the PKK’s leadership is based.

 “Barzani told the PKK leadership in Qandil that he would convince the Turkish government to directly negotiate with their imprisoned leader if they, in return, give him assurance that they would trust and abide by his decisions,” Penjweni said.

 
Barzani warned them that he is not willing to start a process whose end result he is not sure of,” Penjweni said.
 

He added that the talks got rolling after Barzani suggested that Erdogan bring Ocalan on board to try and end a hunger strike by hundreds of Kurdish inmates, launched in Turkish prisons last September to demand an end to Ocalan’s solitary confinement, and permission to use the Kurdish language in Turkish courts.

“Even though the Turkish PM didn’t have much faith in the plan, he still sent someone to Ocalan to convince him to call on the prisoners to end their strike,” Penjweni revealed. “To Erdogan’s surprise, the plan worked and the prisoners ended their strike,” he said.

Similar peace talks failed five years ago, after three years of constant negotiations involving the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT), Ocalan and the PKK leadership in Norway.

This time, hopes are high for a new era of political dialogue, and a solution for the long-standing conflict.
   

In a joint intelligence operation 14 years ago, Ocalan was captured in Nairobi, and returned to Turkey where he was sentenced to life in prison for treason.
 

“Just a few days before he was captured, Ocalan and I were together in Italy where he briefed me about his plan to go to South Africa to see (former South African leader) Nelson Mandela,” Penjweni disclosed.

Tags :
Print Email to a friend
Save this story
1111 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Rizgar | 10/23/2014 3:00:14 AM
Ocalan should stop smoking what he's smoking with Erdogan. The peace process is a joke. Turkey needs another century to grow up and behave like a...
Hopeless Kurds | 10/23/2014 10:16:34 AM
Do you know guys there are too many feudal, anti Marxist anti Pkk anti Barzani anti Talabani anti everything democratic Kurds on this page. They...
Ocalan positive about peace with Turkey
| yesterday at 03:23 | (10)
Bahdini Kurd | 10/23/2014 8:29:56 AM
This is normal. We will fight them even if we have to live on bread and water. We will get our profits in the afterlife for having cleansed islam...
Muraz Adzhoev | 10/23/2014 9:53:01 AM
In order to apply to international and foreign investment banks for long-term loans, to improve radically the business climate, to create efficient...
Security crisis seen hitting Kurdish growth prospects
| 10 hours ago | (2)
TruthMaster | 10/23/2014 9:17:58 AM
Rudaw you shouldn't tell the truth like this. PKK supporters get upset. They'll accuse you of not being Kurds again.
ISIS recaptures hill overlooking Kobane, fires on civilians
| 7 hours ago | (1)
Zakho Comidian | 10/23/2014 6:28:44 AM
his name Zobi??? ha ha, We can call him "Damascus BOB" or "Comical Zubbi" it seem all the Arab are the same liers. he remind me "Baghdad BOB" ...
Huseyin kilinc | 10/23/2014 8:53:52 AM
This is the great kurds start unity for ordinary Kurdish people just we want unity all parties should work unity becouse our enemy all ways United...
Damascus claims to aid Kobane’s Kurds
| yesterday at 04:30 | (18)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Kurds closer to participation in Iraqi government 13/10/2014 | (11)

Kurds closer to participation in Iraqi government

The formation of a new Iraqi government was a more
Jihadists control all exits from Mount Shingal, says Peshmerga official 13/10/2014 | (11)

Jihadists control all exits from Mount Shingal, says Peshmerga official

"10,000 people were still on the mountain and as more
Hundreds of European Kurds join Peshmerga and YPG 13/10/2014 | (27)

Hundreds of European Kurds join Peshmerga and YPG

"My ancestors have given their blood for us, so more
0.375 seconds