Demirtaş spoke about meeting with Öcalan

ANF – News Desk 20.03.2013 -Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş spoke to Özgür Gündem following the visit he paid to Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan on 18 March together with BDP deputies Pervin Buldan and Sırrı Süreyya Önder. -We publish an extract of the interview.

The meeting on Imralı Island took place three days before the Newroz Day when Mr. Öcalan will make a call. The public wonders about what you and the Kurdish leader talked about.

Beyond a visit to a prisoner, our meeting with Öcalan represents a political phase of a significant political development we are living. The meeting was pleasant for both Mr. Öcalan and the BDP delegation. He made detailed comments on the ongoing process and talked about his approach and his determination to work for a solution. During the meeting we once again witnessed how much he insisted on a solution without arms and further death. His message mainly addressed the government as he pointed out that the AKP government shouldn’t miss this opportunity. He suggested that a significant headway could be made on the way to a solution in the event that the government and the parliament urgently fulfill their duties without allowing any provocation. At this point, he wasn’t definitely sure whether the AKP government and the parliament would take these steps or not.

What exactly do these steps refer to?

He remarked that the AKP government this time is showing a more serious approach towards negotiations. He was determined to bring an end to the 40-years-old conflict on condition that the government made the necessary assuring decisions for the same purpose, such as establishing commissions for withdrawal in the process of non-conflict and disarmament and taking steps to make peace and the non-conflict environment permanent. He says there mustn’t be any more bloodshed and that he is determined to make this intention real on conditions of receiving a serious reply from the government and the parliament. He also said he held it good that the government had this time started to seek a solution with talks with the leader of the people, replacing its former attitude in previous negotiation attempts when it tried to exclude him from the solution seeking process.  He says he wants to play his role in the current process.

Did BDP debate the new process within itself?

It should be known that we are not unprepared for this process, considering the fact that we have been working on constitutional and legal reforms and organizing conferences and workshops for a long time now. We have also presented a substantial constitution draft and a reform package which we also debated in detail during the meeting with Öcalan. He said he supported BDP’s significant preparation on the subject and that he supported this reform process. He is also of the opinion that there should definitely be a road cleaning on the way to the new constitution.

Some serious debates have taken place on the question whether a new authority will be formed in the solution process of the Kurdish question.

The solution of the Kurdish question will also bring an end to the hundred-years-old policy of the denial of Kurds which constitutes the base of all repressive mechanisms of the state. It would be unfair to expect the replacement of the present system with a more authoritarian and repressive regime. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be right to expect the AKP government alone to build democracy after demolishing the repressive regime.