MESOP FLASH : „THE END OF THE AFFAIR?“ / PKK’s Karayılan threatens to pull out of settlement process

20 June 2013 /TODAYSZAMAN.COM, İSTANBUL – The leader of the military wing of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Murat Karayılan, has said the PKK is ready to fight again, threatening to withdraw from a settlement process launched by the Turkish government last year to resolve the long-standing terrorism problem in the country.

Speaking to the PKK-affiliated Fırat news agency (ANF), Karayılan accused the Turkish government of preparing for a war against the terrorist organization as it gradually withdraws from Turkish soil.

 “The Kurdish movement should be let free now that a new period for a democratic solution has started. It has been decided [during the settlement process] that violence should be put aside and the conflicts should be solved through democratic means. It has been said [by Öcalan], ‘Let guns be silenced and politics dominate.’ Although we kept our end of the bargain during the process, the Turkish side has been engaged in violent acts, which makes us anxious,” Karayılan said and suggested the abolishment of the controversial village guard system as part of the settlement efforts.

Karayılan further criticized Turkey for carrying out reconnaissance missions over the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where the PKK is based. He said he can order PKK forces any time to prepare for attack, adding that they are always ready for a war.

Commenting on a declaration that came out of a recent Kurdish conference, the PKK leader said it was “positive.”

A two-day conference, titled the “North Kurdistan Unity and Solution Conference,” was held June 15-16 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. It has ended with a declaration listing the demands of Turkey’s Kurds, including freedom for Öcalan and special autonomous status for Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated regions.

Meanwhile BDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters on Wednesday that the settlement process is not stuck and it has come to a phase when the government should open democratic and peaceful political channels. He argued that the attitude of the government hints that the ruling body is driving the settlement process towards deadlock. “If the government does not fulfill its duties and meet the expectations of the public opinion, there will be trouble,” he added.