Kurdish talks leak obtained through our party: BDP’s co-chair

DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency – Hürriyet – 9.3.2013 – The co-chair of the Peace and Development Party (BDP) Selahattin Demirtaş announced March 9 that his party was intending to reveal the source behind the leak of the Kurdish talks that sparked a huge controversy and stirred up debate on whether or not it would affect the ongoing peace process. He also later added that the document was not leaked by the BDP’s deputies or organization. “But it is understood that they were obtained through our party,” he said.

On Feb. 28, Turkish daily Milliyet published a document purportedly written during a Feb. 23 meeting between outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and three deputies from the BDP on İmrali island. The meeting had been arranged as a part of efforts to solve the Kurdish issue. Following the leaks, the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the newspaper and demanded they reveal their source behind the content of the talks. Many rumors pointed to the BDP as Namık Durukan, the reporter who published the document, has close ties with the party. However, party officials repeatedly denied that any of their officials were involved in the publication.

Demirtaş emphasized that none of their deputies had leaked the notes. “We do not accept that our deputies are kept under suspicion. We are finishing our investigation on this issue. We will publicly share some of its conclusion on Tuesday [March 12] at the latest,” Demirtaş said via his Twitter account before adding in a statement that nevertheles it was understood that the document was obtained through BDP.

Milliyet’s report claimed Öcalan said he would declare a “road map for peace” on March 21, while proposing the PKK’s withdrawal should take place after a parliamentary decision. The date corresponds with the spring festival of Nevruz, a holiday celebrated by Turkey’s Kurdish minority. It was reported that Öcalan had said he would lend his support to prime minister’s proposed presidential system on the condition the system was modeled on that of the United States and that Prime Minister Erdoğan served as the president of that system.