PKK may declare cease-fire before Nevruz, says Kurdish lawmaker


4 March 2013 /ALİHAN HASANOĞLU, ARBİL – ZAMAN – Independent Mardin deputy Ahmet Türk, who is also the co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK), has said he expects commanders of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to declare a cease-fire against Turkish security forces before March 21, the day of Nevruz.

He said he expects PKK commanders in the Kandil Mountains to respond to a letter from the PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan, and thereby “weapons to go silent” before Nevruz, which heralds the arrival of spring commonly observed by Kurds in Turkey. Türk’s remarks came during an exclusive interview with the Cihan news agency in Arbil. The Kurdish lawmaker traveled to northern Iraq with a delegation last week to take a letter prepared by Öcalan to PKK commanders in the Kandil Mountains. Öcalan reportedly wrote down three letters, detailing his “roadmap” for a solution to be delivered to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), PKK commanders in Kandil and senior PKK leaders in Europe. The letters allegedly reached their addresses last week. According to Türk, he became more hopeful for “peace” after he held a series of contacts with PKK commanders in Arbil. “They want a peaceful solution of the [terrorism and Kurdish] problems, too. They told us that they support a peace process initiated by Öcalan. If the Turkish state evaluates the process correctly and displays a sincere and reasonable will for solution, then the problems will be settled,” he stated.

Turkish state authorities have been holding peace talks with Öcalan since last October. Öcalan has significant influence among PKK members and supporters and the state believes that talks with the terrorist head will achieve their goals of a terrorist withdrawal from Turkey and, in the long run, disarmament.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, says it has half of its 7,000 terrorists in Turkey and half in northern Iraq, where it maintains its primary camps in remote, near-impassable mountains. The Turkish government estimates the number of terrorists to be lower. Senior PKK leaders in Europe are also warm to the idea of settling the terrorism problem in Turkey through a series of talks being carried out between Turkish state authorities and Öcalan, according to a news report.

The Taraf daily reported on Monday that BDP deputy Pervin Buldan recently met with several PKK leaders in Brussels, and that they reportedly told the deputy that they are “ready for a solution.” Buldan traveled to Brussels last week to deliver Öcalan’s letter to PKK leaders in that country. According to Taraf, PKK leaders in Europe told Buldan that they had found Öcalan’s roadmap “reasonable” and were ready for a solution to the terrorism problem in Turkey. The terrorist leaders are expected to respond to Öcalan’s letter within a week or so, Taraf reported. However, it is not yet clear how the letter will be delivered to Öcalan.