MESOP: BAYIKS CONDITIONS – THE NEW AND LASTING LEADER OF PKK – Senior PKK leader says organization can end armed struggle with steps from gov’t

DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency – 31 Mar 2015 – A senior leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has said the group aims to solve the Kurdish issue politically rather than militarily, and is waiting for “solid steps” from the government in order to end the armed struggle. “If Turkey takes steps on its side, we are ready to end the armed struggle today. We have said this multiple times. We openly say that the Kurdish issue should be resolved through politics and not through arms,” said Cemil Bayık, the co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization that includes the PKK, during an interview with a web broadcaster Denge TV.

Bayık also said asking Kurds to lay down arms, amid continuous attacks against Kurds in the Middle East, would mean “death” for them, stressing that “laying down arms” and “halting armed clashes” are two different topics.

“Laying down arms and halting armed clashes are two different things. If the PKK bears arms today, it is not because it really wants to use them or is demanding a war. Kurds resorted to armed struggle in order to preserve their existence because [the Turkish state] left Kurds no other way to express themselves,” he said. “Kurds no longer want to carry on the armed struggle, but to solve problems in a democratic way. We have suggested this several times. If the Turkish state develops the mechanisms, we have said we would halt the armed clashes immediately,” Bayık added, saying it is the state’s responsibility to develop these mechanisms.