Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has clearly stated the Turkish government’s first condition for the continuation of talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is to reach a peaceful solution for the violence polluted Kurdish problem, which is described as Turkey’s worst by President Abdullah Gül.
From Niamey, the capital of Niger, Erdogan made his call to Turkey, saying PKK militants should lay down their arms and leave Turkey at once. The call was meant to answer speculations in the Turkish media over the last week which followed the confirmation that two members of the Turkish Parliament, who are Kurds, had been given permission by the Ministry of Justice to visit İmralı Island prison near Istanbul for talks with the PKK’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan. The visit itself was an indication that refreshed talks between the PKK and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) on the government’s behalf had reached a higher level.
The visit itself was an indication that refreshed talks between the PKK and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) on the government’s behalf had reached a higher levelMurat Yetkin
As a political party focused on the Kurdish problem, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), shares the same grassroots with the PKK, according to MP Ahmet Türk who was one of two deputies that visited Öcalan. The BDP is demanding a larger role than serving as a bridge between the PKK and the government. Selahattin Demirtaş, its co-chair, addressed the party’s group in Parliament on Jan. 8 and said they wanted to be an address of the talks for the Kurdish problem rather than being a postman. Recent information shows that being able to speak with the BDP more has often has been demanded by Öcalan during his talks with Hakan Fidan, the head of the MİT and was even discussed in the National Security Board (MGK) meeting chaired by Gül on Dec. 29, 2012. Demirtaş has also asked for more access for Öcalan, more newspapers, TV and visitors to better the atmosphere for the continuation of the talks.