Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) envoy in the UK has said that the current Turkish government has demonstrated its “brave” face by initiating the “Resolution Process” in the country in order to bring a peaceful end to the armed conflict of the PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU, the US, and NATO.
"I remember current Prime Minister [Ahmet] Davutoglu when he was foreign minister, he said it clearly that it is no longer a problem [for the country] to talk about the Kurdish issue... I think that came out of the bravery of the authorities in Turkey," Karwan Jamal Tahir, who represents the KRG in the UK, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
In the beginning of 2013, Turkey announced its “Resolution Process” aimed at resolving the armed conflict and the PKK seemed responsive until mid-July 2015 under the instructions of its imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
However, the terrorist group’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two and half year-long ceasefire last year and threatened the country with further attacks and as a result PKK terror attacks have killed more than 350 security officials in Turkey since July.
Most recently, the TAK, which is affiliated with the PKK terrorist group, claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed at least 37 people on March 13 in the Kizilay district near Guvenpark in Ankara, which adjoins a major transportation hub of bus and minibus stops and the city's central metro station.
Tahir said that Turkey’s importance in the region makes the country a target for terrorist attacks, indicating that “any act against the civilian population,” should be considered as a terrorist attack.
“Turkey is important in the Middle East, in Europe. It is a gateway to the Middle East and the other way around. I don’t believe there is a conflict between Turks and Kurds,” he said.
“Any terrorist attack, no matter who has done it, is considered as a terrorist attack and we condemn these attacks.”
Tahir also stated that the relationship between Turkey and the KRG have significantly improved in both economical and political fronts over the years.
"We tried our utmost to create bridges between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Turkey. The relationship started economically, and this relationship brought a political relationship. I think we have succeeded in encouraging Turkish investors to come to Kurdistan and work in the region,” he said.
“We have over 1,500 Turkish companies working in the KRG. Now we have a long strategic agreement. We praise their support through the years of relationship that we have."
Jamal Tahir, who had been the deputy minister for foreign relations of the KRG between 2009 and 2015 prior to his current post, said that DAESH is the biggest threat the region has currently been facing and that everyone must coordinate with each other against the terrorist group.
Asked about the KRG President Massoud Barzani's plea for heavy weapons from the British government, Tahir replied that the KRG’s Peshmerga forces are having problems during its fight against DAESH to access “the sufficient weaponry” provided by Britain to the Iraqi central government.
“The relationship between Britain and Iraq is a state-to-state relationship. Unfortunately, this military support to Iraq and the Kurdistan region-based Peshmergas has to be in coordination with Baghdad. We do not mind that. We [just] need sufficient weaponry to eradicate DAESH,” he underlined.
However, all of the heavy weapons are going into the hands of the Baghdad government which is not so willing to “share” them with the KRG, he pointed out.
Tahir emphasised that Peshmerga forces are also part of Iraq’s national defense forces and they need to be “properly equipped” and “properly trained.”
The KRG has serious problems in terms of directly receiving weapons to its respective region and “even through the [Iraqi] Ministry of Defense we have seen some obstacles,” he complained.