Presidential spokesman calls disarmament most critical phase in peace talks

Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says disarmament is most critical phase in Kurdish-Turkish resolution process its resolution will benefit the entire country

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Emphasising the determination of the government to complete the Kurdish-Turkish peace process, Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the disarmament phase - which is the current topic of discussion - is the most critical part of the process but when it is concluded this will be a victory for the entire country.

“The remaining problems could be resolved in Parliament where things would progress more efficiently,” he added. 

The Kurdish-Turkish peace process was initially implemented as a “resolution process” aimed at resolving social issues affecting different ethnic groups in Turkey. 

The  peace process, aimed at resolving the three-decade long conflict between the government and the outlawed PKK, gained momentum in 2012 . The conflict has claimed the lives of 40,000 people to date.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU. 

Appearing on a television programme on the Turkish television channel NTV, Kalin said the duties of the stakeholders in the process the process are more or less defined and said, “the process is not where sides lay down bilateral conditions and is not based on completion of requirements issued to the government.” 

Kalin reminded viewers of the programme that the most critical problem in the resolution process is that “PKK still holds onto its guns and the disarmament phase has not started yet.”

Expressing the process will move on in the direction desired by the government, Kalin said that all parties would “lose” if there is an attitude claiming to have final say in process on the other side. 

“As long as full disarmament is ensured and the country is freed from the curse of terror, it will be victory for the entire country,” he stated.

Asked for his opinions on the civil war in Syria, Kalin spoke about the US view concerning the Syrian opposition and said, “the US stands at a better position about supporting the Syrian opposition than before.”

“A solution that includes Bashar al-Assad and his regime for Syria is not acceptable to anyone. The biggest obstacle preventing establishment of an order based on peace in the region is the Syrian problem,” Kalin said. 

Commenting on Turkey’s position towards the Syrian conflict, Kalin stated that Turkey has always favored bilateral negotiations based on dialogue and aimed at reducing tensions. 

Kalin also spoke against “Iran’s expansionary efforts in the region” which he said could cause deadlock and prevent a resolution. But he said a recent official visit to Iran, despite expectations it might have been cancelled, was a “very efficient one where every issue was discussed.”