Erdogan says dialogue may start if PKK fully disarms

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlined the possibility of a new solution process for the PKK conflict.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during an event ahead of the constitutional referendum in Istanbul, Turkey April 12, 2017.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan left the door open for dialogue with the PKK, provided the terror group completely disarmed.

Erdogan speaking during a campaign speech ahead of Sunday's referendum, said the PKK should take note of the decision by ETA, the armed organisation that has waged a bloody 40-year independence campaign in Spain and France but recently gave up its arms.

"Just like ETA, who as you know recently gave up their arms, they [PKK] need to bury all their weapons, and they need to bury the locations and coordinates for these weapons also."

"But, to assume you can keep your weapons and still sit down to talk, this will not happen. This is the process from here on out."

"Our resolve is clear, in the last 20 months, we have neutralised over ten thousand terrorists."

"Let ETA be your guide and example."

ETA is a separatist group which was formed in the late 1950s during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco with the aim of establishing an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France.

The PKK, which was established in 1974 in Ankara, began launching terror attacks in 1984. Armed clashes and acts of violence have continued on and off for more than 30 years and claimed more than 40,000 lives.

In July of 2015, its umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two and a half year-long ceasefire with the Turkish state and resumed its terror activities.

HDP, a predominantly pro-Kurdish Party linked to the PKK terror organisation, has stated in the past that the PKK wanted to resume talks with the Turkish government after suffering heavy losses and not getting adequate support from citizens in eastern Turkey.

Turkey has remained steadfast in its fight against the terror group, effectively dealing major blows to the organisation in and out of Turkey.