PKK militants leaving Turkey to receive training on politics in Kandil

25 April 2013 /HABİB GÜLER, ANKARA – Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder has announced that Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists who withdraw from the country as part of the ongoing settlement process will not go back to their homes but will be offered political training in Kandil, where most of the PKK hideouts are located in northern Iraq.

PKK terrorists are expected to leave Turkey as part of the ongoing talks between state officials and imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan that aim to resolve the country’s long-standing Kurdish and terrorism problems.

“Nobody will return to their homes, everyone will go to Kandil and receive this training. An overall democratization campaign will be launched in the country,” said Önder in a statement made during the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day reception in Parliament on April 23.

At the same reception, Önder also said there will no longer be an exchange of letters between Öcalan and PKK operatives in Kandil, and that the communication will be carried out via the BDP from then on. In the meantime, another BDP deputy, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, said on Thursday that when the PKK lays down its weapons, it will become like the BDP. Speaking to a pro-Kurdish media outlet, Kürkçü elaborated on his earlier statements, saying: “Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sometimes does not know what is saying. He needs a psychologist.”

 “I made those remarks because of this. You [the government] are holding talks or negotiations with the BDP. You say, ‘The BDP actually gets nourishment from terrorism…’ Now that you launched a project for the elimination of terrorism, you say you want to eliminate the BDP. Can such a thing happen? To the contrary, the BDP is the main actor: when the PKK lays down its weapons, the PKK will be the BDP — is there any other way to this?” he said.

“Put aside 300 PKK administrators, for there is no general amnesty for them. What will happen to the rest of the tens of thousands of people? They will be involved in politics. You [the government] do not grant them any domain to do politics. You are trying to eliminate the BDP, which is involved in politics,” Kürkçü said in further remarks, addressing the government.

He complained that there is still a pro-security understanding in Turkey instead of a pro-democratic and pro-freedom one, adding that even this does not overshadow the settlement process.

With regards to lack of support from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for the settlement process, he said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has not given any opportunity to the CHP to be involved in the process, and, to the contrary, it belittled its importance. “I don’t think the AK Party makes things easier,” he said. – The CHP supported the settlement process at the outset but has since withdrawn its support, accusing the government of failing to be transparent.