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
1054 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

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

What You Say

Rudi | 9/19/2014 2:17:49 AM
If Belarus is willing to defy Baghdad in befriending the KRG, I think it means that Russia is friendly to the Kurdish cause but does not want to be...
Jim | 9/19/2014 2:22:42 AM
Let it be know that ISIS/Turkey alliance will not succeed.
As Global Efforts Galvanize in Iraq, Syrian Kurds Left Alone Against IS
| 15 hours ago | (36)
Franklin | 9/18/2014 11:46:28 PM
To ARGUSHI, If it is Maliki fault, then why President Obama took credit for bringing the troops back home and now going back to Iraq. Let him give...
Manuel Villanueva
Manuel Villanueva | 9/19/2014 2:21:39 AM
You want war so bad go fight it yourself. Don't drag us with you. Screw iraq. Screw the middle east.
US Combat Troops Could Return to Iraq
| yesterday at 11:12 | (13)
Kurdson | 9/19/2014 12:34:53 AM
Obama can degrade and destroy ISIS as he pledged. But what is he going to do about the Shiite Sunni war? Their war is beyond Obama and Beyond US...
Sluth | 9/19/2014 2:00:00 AM
The solution in Iraq may be for you guys to offer the Sunni Arab tribes both a very big carrot and a very small stick. ISIS has provoked external...
The Coalition of the Unwilling, Apathetic and Distrustful
| 23 hours ago | (6)
Rudi | 9/19/2014 12:14:49 AM
Kurdistan needs more friends like this that are willing to defy Baghdad. Russia probably gave approval for this move which is also a good thing for...
Allan | 9/19/2014 1:43:00 AM
The Kurds should develop and maintain great relations with all democratic nations and to a degree to all the nations around the world.
Belarus Supports Kurdistan with Wide-Ranging Agreement
| 16 hours ago | (7)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq 1/8/2014 | (28)

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq

“Iraq’s energy resources belong to all of the more
Israel’s Assaults: Self-defense or Aggression? 31/7/2014 | (38)

Israel’s Assaults: Self-defense or Aggression?

Over the past three weeks, the Israeli military more
0.546 seconds