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

Turkey

Turkey-PKK Peace Process Strikes First Hurdle

By HEMIN KHOSHNAW 7/4/2013
A PKK fighter looks across the border into Turkey. Photo: AFP
A PKK fighter looks across the border into Turkey. Photo: AFP




ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey’s historic peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has struck its first hurdle: The government insists the deadly rebels disarm before leaving the country, and the guerrillas want pardons and other legal guarantees before laying down arms.

Turkey’s Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the intermediary for Ankara’s highly significant talks with the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, says comments by the Turkish premier, ruling out pardons for fighters or house arrest for their leader, were not helpful.

“The terrorists, who are about to leave Turkey, have to bury their weapons in caves” before being allowed to leave for their main base in the Qandil Mountain of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters last week.


“They can cross the border of our country only after laying down their arms,” he clarified.


Turkey is at a historic crossroads in its three-decade war with the rebels, which has claimed an estimated 70,000 lives nationwide.  Following groundbreaking talks that Ankara opened this year, Ocalan said in a March 21 message on the Kurdish New Year that the militants were ready to disarm.


In a message read to hundreds of thousands of Kurds in their city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey, Ocalan vowed that the PKK was beginning a new struggle, to be waged in the battleground of politics.


The 65-year-old Ocalan, who has been kept in virtual isolation on Turkey’s Imrali island since being captrued in 1999, said that the process of disarmament must be governed by law.


 “The Turkish government must take the necessary legal measures in the Turkish parliament for the withdrawal of the PKK guerrillas," he said.

Observers say that the PKK wants legal protections and pardons for its fighters, and perhaps that Ocalan can be placed under house arrest from the prison where he has been condemned for the rest of his life.


Erdogan ruled out pardons for PKK fighters or house arrest for their leader, quashing any suggestions of a legal process. “Ocalan’s house arrest is out of the question,” said the prime minister, whose government is hoping for success in resolving the Kurdish issue, which for decades has been Ankara’s largest internal problem.


Shortly after Erdogan’s comments, the PKK insisted on “legal grounds” for withdrawal, and expressed discontent with Erdogan describing its fighters as “terrorists.”


BDP co-leader Gultan Kisnak said that the peace talks were the outcome of months of hard work, and Erdogan’s statements were not helpful.

“The statements by Erdogan do not suit the spirit of the peace process,” she added, warning that Erdogan “should not do anything to harm the process."

"Only new laws can guarantee the success of this process,” Kisnak explained. “Promises made today can be forgotten tomorrow, that is why the entire process must be carried out legally.”

Erdogan’s own Justice and Development Party (AKP), insists that the premier’s comments were only indicating the first step of the peace process, and struck at the very heart of the issue.

“The PM says that he will do everything necessary for rights and freedoms, but that disarmament should be the first step,” said Ziver Ozdemir, a ruling party MP from the city of Batman in Turkish Kurdistan.

“This is not a war between two countries, requiring a legal process for disarmament to take place,” Ozdemir explained. “The laying down of arms is the proof of the desire for peace.”

Tags :
Print Email to a friend
Save this story
1068 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

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

What You Say

Kurdistan | 8/31/2014 2:48:04 PM
The best famous pomegranates in Kurdistan is plants and produce in the beautiful city of HELEBJE known as a CENDRELLA OF KURDISTAN. The best land for...
kurdo | 9/3/2014 1:21:21 AM
Just don't sign with the WTO they will turn everything to GMO. Here in the US fruits and vegetables are all for looks, there's absolutely no taste.
Kurdistan’s Bid to Boost Pomegranates
| 29/8/2014 | (7)
Hassan | 9/2/2014 7:15:33 AM
Dear All Commenter, May be You are not aware of the mind of local kurdish. On last vacation I visited one company in sulaymaniyah regarding search of...
Goran | 9/3/2014 1:01:13 AM
I don't buy it. KRG has failed to put a proper system in place that gives priority to workers who communicate in Kurdish. In Quebec for example you...
Imported Workers in Demand despite Flood of Refugees into Kurdistan
| yesterday at 12:52 | (8)
Riha | 9/2/2014 9:52:46 PM
Turkey is the most strategic country in NATO. In fact, Istanbul is the backbone of NATO. US will never get them off the terror list. The only way for...
Vianne | 9/3/2014 1:01:10 AM
Obviously, PKK protects all kurds and besides if PKK is terrorist then 30 million kurds or more who supports PKK are terrorist. US and European Union...
Should US Remove PKK From Its Terrorist List?
| 19 hours ago | (25)
Walato Kurdo | 9/2/2014 11:14:24 PM
ISIS is turkey, they wouldent be a shit, if it werent for turkish support, turkish ambulance have entered Rojava hundrets of times, to pick up a...
john | 9/3/2014 12:23:34 AM
Erdogan always cry for GAZA GAZA n Moslem Brotherhood Ikwanul Muslimin. He is IS supporter
Turkey and the Islamic State Challenge
| 10 hours ago | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq 1/8/2014 | (27)

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 | (35)

Israel’s Assaults: Self-defense or Aggression?

Over the past three weeks, the Israeli military more
Barzani: America, Turkey will not block Kurdish independence 6/7/2014 | (86)

Barzani: America, Turkey will not block Kurdish independence

Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s autonomous more
0.265 seconds