BDP to report on latest talks with Ocalan

Kurdistan Tribune :  24 Feb 2013 – A delegation of three Kurdish politicians has today been meeting with the long-incarcerated PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, marking a new stage in the current peace process.

BDP deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pervin Buldan, Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Diyarbakır deputy Altan Tan travelled from Istanbul this morning for İmralı island, where Öcalan is serving a life sentence. It is the second meeting this year between Kurdish politicians and Ocalan. Such discussions were previously prohibited by the government. BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said a new process would start after the visit. “We will share with you the discussions and the result of the talks when our friends come back. We are assuming that a new process will start,” he said. Turkish prime minister Erdogan told reporters: “We cannot know what sort of suggestions Öcalan has made before hearing from the BDP delegation. We will only learn what sort of messages were sent after they come back”.

It has been reported that Erdogan rejected the BDP’s initial proposal for a delegation including BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. However, the party decided not to make an issue of this and it proposed an alternative delegation which the government accepted. Erdoğan today reiterated that the goal of the government was to convince the PKK to lay down its arms. Firat News reports that Önder took with him some new reading material for Ocalan: the report prepared by the Parliamentary Commission Investigating Military Coups and the book ‘Comparative Constitutions of Countries’.