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
1108 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

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

What You Say

acig | 10/22/2014 8:10:35 PM
I am kurdish alewite. Thats why i had sympathy for assad, but towards kurds he always act as an arab fascist. 10thousands of kurds lived without...
ayan | 10/22/2014 8:45:55 PM
Trying to take credit for something they didn't do. That's laughable. Iran wouldn't send help to Kobani unless Assad requested them to. They never...
Damascus claims to aid Kobane’s Kurds
| 12 hours ago | (6)
Muraz Adzhoev | 10/22/2014 7:26:59 PM
There are the two main sides in the peace process - the sovereign state of Turkey and the Kurdish people in Turkey. PKK is a very serious problem,...
truth | 10/22/2014 8:21:51 PM
When is Rudaw going to show us the truth? The PKK and YPG are allied with Iran and Syria and are terrorizing kurds with their politics. PKK and PUK...
Ocalan positive about peace with Turkey
| 13 hours ago | (4)
Truth | 10/22/2014 7:40:38 PM
“All Kurdish people are under attack, so they should be united.” True.
Question | 10/22/2014 8:18:02 PM
What about someting called democracy?? Let the people vote when the war have settled. Dont force it 50-50. Of course this is not reality.
Divided Syrian Kurds reach deal in face of ISIS threat
| 10 hours ago | (5)
Teste Teste | 10/22/2014 2:15:30 PM
Send 50 or 60 A10 Warthogs and a couple of C130 Gunships to Erbil and special operation troops and snipers, from the NATO forces, to create havock...
Don't give Daesh propaganda | 10/22/2014 7:42:34 PM
Absolutely not! No US military boots on the ground are needed and it would in fact be counterproductive. The Daesh propaganda would be non-stop about...
As Peshmerga commit to ground forces, more pressure on US to deploy  troops
| 17 hours ago | (4)

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 | (24)

Hundreds of European Kurds join Peshmerga and YPG

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