Turkey’s main opposition vows to resist Kurdish peace talks

Leader of Turkey’s main opposition party CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu claims he will not 'sit in negotiation table' with pro-Kurdish stakeholders PKK and Qandil for peace talks

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu pledged on Monday that he would not “sit on a negotiation table” with pro-Kurdish stakeholders in peace talks, including the outlawed PKK and its armed unit known as Qandil.

Kilicdaroglu spoke with journalists and responded to their questions on a televised programme broadcasted on Fox TV ahead of Turkey’s general elections on June 7.

He explained that CHP would set up a “reconciliation commission” at the Parliament and resolve the problems “properly.”

“The state could only deal with a legitimate organisation. As long as there is a legitimate structure, the problems could be resolved by holding discussions,” he said.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as the US, NATO and the EU, and is mostly active in the southeastern provinces of Turkey.

Over three decades, conflict between the government and the PKK claimed lives of around 40,000 people and caused major economic and social damage in the region.

Peace process was initiated in 2012 to resolve the three-decade long conflict between the government and PKK, which has reached the disarmament phase so far but has been stalled by Qandil due to emerging rows as a result of tense election campaigns of the parties during which HDP also expressed uncertainty over the disarmament of the PKK.

However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said one stakeholder cannot attempt to withdraw from the Kurdish-Turkish peace process at this point in time, as the process has been embraced by the people and has become public property, underlining the government is determined to conclude the process.

Meanwhile, a report prepared by CHP vice chairman Sencer Ayata had indicated that the party can only receive 1.5 percent of the total 14 percent Kurdish votes in Turkey, the Daily Sabah said.

CHP had announced its rally schedule for the elections saying 58 rallies would be held nationwide, excluding  eastern and southeastern provinces where high amount of Kurdish population resides.

It appears that CHP avoids to lose time campaigning in the regions as the majority of the voters there are divided between the HDP and the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

TRTWorld and agencies