Kışanak: Öcalan to make a call on 21 March

ANF, Istanbul – 16.3.2013 –  Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak has spoken to international media about the ongoing process of talks between the Turkish state and Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Speaking at Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul on Thursday, Kışanak underlined that the 200 years-old Kurdish issue can come up with a solution through democratic ways and added; “Imralı meetings are historic and important considering the fact that this is the first time a delegation representing the state is having official talks with the Kurdish leader”. Kışanak said it is also important that the current process is being conducted open to the public.Kışanak reminded that Öcalan wanted to receive critics on the draft text he has prepared and sent to BDP, Qendil and Europe as a proposal to ensure peace in the country. BDP co-chair noted that Öcalan’s draft text paid regard to the sensitivities of both sides involved in talks. “We expect the Turkish state and government to take Mr. Öcalan’s proposals seriously. In the current process on the way to peace, we will benefit from previous similar experiences in the world”, she added.

Kışanak noted that various commissions should be established to ensure an advancement in the negotiation process and added the followings; “A peace commission should be established to put forward and debate suggestions at times of a deadlock in the negotiation process. Secondly, a democratization commission should be established to enable the formation of a democratic environment and monitoring commission should be formed to monitor the process”. Kışanak added that the parliament should also make necessary legal arrangements to provide an official status for the works for peace.

Referring to the Newroz celebrations to take place in Diyarbakır on 21 March, Kışanak said that; “Should the process make a positive advancement, we expect Mr. Öcalan to make a call on 21 March. Our slogan for this year’s Newroz will be “Freedom for Öcalan, status for the Kurdish people”. Kışanak remarked that “Both sides have different expectations from the process, as the government gives priority to PKK’s disarmament, while Kurds primarily demand constitutional assurance for their rights. The process cannot make a headway by ignoring the expectations of any side”. Kışanak pointed out that Öcalan has the authority to speak on behalf of all actors of Kurds who have already indicated him as the main actor for a solution. Kışanak remarked that the call Öcalan will make on Newroz day should mean more than a ceasefire. Referring to the recent judicial reform package, Kışanak said that the already existing anti-democratic laws will not allow the practice of the reform package.