MESOP ERDOGAN & PKK : Deputy PM seeks ‘common sense’ in PKK question

Deputy PM Akdogan tells The Anadolu Agency that a government-approved monitoring group is in the works as Turkey approaches anticipated ceasefire announcement by PKK.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan has called for a “language emphasizing commonalities” ahead of a key milestone in the Kurdish “solution process.”

“Rather than scratching points of difference, a language that emphasizes commonalities needs to be used,” Akdogan told The Anadolu Agency during an editors’ meeting at its headquarters in the capital Ankara on Wednesday. “How will we build a future together; that’s what needs to be stressed,” he added.Turkey is fast approaching an anticipated announcement by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK to lay down arms on March 21, the Day of Newroz – a spring festival, celebrated mainly by the country’s Kurdish population.

Newroz is celebrated mainly in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, Macedonia, India and Turkey. It is an important traditional and cultural event for Turkey’s Kurdish population, which also coincides with the 2013 call by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to withdraw all armed elements from Turkish soil as of May and June 2013 and put an end to armed conflict.

Akdogan’s remarks today come as pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtas sought to play down an expected announcement from Ocalan. Demirtas had said earlier this week that the 21 March statement by Ocalan would not call for the disarming of PKK, and instead would be an “enhanced statement of intentions.”

Akdogan said today that the government would create a 5-6-strong team to monitor meetings and statements by the parties involved during what is shaping up to be a critical moment in the nearly two-year-old process.The deputy prime minister added that the decision regarding the monitoring group lies with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whom he indicated could make a statement next week. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union; its attacks have claimed around 40,000 lives in Turkey in the last three decades. SOURCE:–deputy-pm-seeks-common-sense-in-pkk-question