News, Turkey

Abdullah Öcalan calls on PKK to lay down arms

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The jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan called on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to convene a conference on laying down its arms.

The Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan and Interior Minister Efkan Ala held talks at the Prime Minister’s Office in Istanbul with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) committee, including HDP Vice Chair İdris Baluken and Istanbul Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, to discuss the reconciliation process.

After the meeting, the delegates held a press conference to deliver important statements. During his speech, Önder called on the PKK to convene a conference in spring on disarmament.

Önder said: “The dialogues between the two sides over the reconciliation process has come to a serious stage.”
Önder said the Öcalan called on the PKK to hold a congress in spring this year to make the historic decision to find common ground on the issue of laying down arms.

“The invitation is a historic declaration of intention to resolve the issue through democratic means instead of an armed struggle,” he said.

He added: “We call on all democratic fronts to support this democratic solution and to support the reconciliation process.”
Önder said: “Our main target is to reach a democratic solution, while we are trying to resolve the 30-year conflict permanently.”

On his part, the Deputy PM Akdoğan said, “We have reached an important point in the settlement process…We see HDP’S statements on the acceleration of the disarmament process as being crucial.”

He stated that, Öcalan’s call on the PKK to lay down arms would further develop democracy in Turkey.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and US. If an agreement is reached, it would bring an end to a 30-year-old conflict.

Talks with HDP began in late 2012 to end a Kurdish conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people, since 1984.

Resource: Yenişafak, February 28, 2015

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