MİT-PKK dialogue not strange: Deputy PM

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News – 13-11-2012 – Arınç says PM Erdoğan is informed of all contacts made by the intelligence.  Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has stated that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is informed of all contacts made by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), and stressed that it was normal for MİT to have contact with multiple different groups including terror organizations.

Arınç’s statement came in response to an official query made by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Gürkut Acar, Anatolia news agency reported on Nov. 12. It is an evident fact that the intelligence units of countries struggling with terrorism hold various meetings with terror organizations, he said. Taking this into consideration for Turkey, which has been fighting terrorism for over three decades, MİT’s holding of talks in order to find an end to terrorism is not something that should be found strange, Arınç said, adding that holding such talks was a duty of MİT. “On the other hand, it has been personally announced to the public by the prime minister that MİT’s meetings have been in line with his information and orders,” he said.

Following the general elections in June 2011, in September, a sound recording was leaked over the Internet showing the deputy undersecretary of the prime ministry at the time, Hakan Fidan – who later became the head of MİT – and then-MİT deputy undersecretary Afet Güneş holding a meeting with three members of the European wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Mustafa Karasu, Sabri Ok and Zübeyir Aydar. The meeting was allegedly held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

Following the leaks, in September 2011, Erdoğan had said, “The state had talks [with the PKK], not the government.” A few days later Erdoğan added, “Talks [with the PKK] started during the tenure of Emre Taner [former MİT chief]. There were a number of reasons to put an end to the talks. We said stop as we saw some insincerity.”