BDP to hold public meetings all over North Kurdistan

MESOP 27.4.2013 –  Meanwhile, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has announced plans to set up commissions and hold meetings in 45 provinces across the country to explain to the public the ongoing settlement process between the Turkish government and the PKK:

In a statement released on Friday, the BDP said the commissions will be comprised of five members, who will be tasked with promoting the ongoing negotiations. The commissions will include deputies, members of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK), BDP provincial and district branch heads and members of civil society groups.

“The focus of the meetings will be to urge the public to get actively involved in this big freedom movement,” the BDP said in its statement, adding that the decision to hold such public meetings was taken on April 22 during a MYK meeting.

The government has recently established a similar commission consisting of 63 people divided into nine-person sub-groups that are serving in seven different regions of the country. The commission, dubbed “wise people,” was formed to liaise with the public while the government has talks with the PKK.

In a bid to resolve the country’s decades-old terrorism problem, at the end of last year the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government launched negotiations with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is incarcerated in prison on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara. In past months, Öcalan, who despite his 14 years in prison still wields enormous clout over PKK terrorists as well as millions of nationalist Kurds in Turkey, called on PKK terrorists to lay down their arms and leave Turkey. In response to Öcalan’s call, the PKK announced on Thursday that the withdrawal of its armed members from Turkey will begin on May 8.