PM Erdoğan: No concessions made during Kurdish peace process


ANKARA – Anadolu Agency – 23-7-2014 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said July 22 he has never made concessions during the ongoing process to find a solution to the Kurdish problem, addressing the relatives of fallen soldiers at an iftar dinner.“We have made significant progress in the resolution process so far. We do not have any fallen soldiers recently as a result. I want to emphasize this once again. No concessions have been made in any way. We have never shaken hands with the leader of the terror [a phrase widely used for Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK] or terrorists unlike some politicians have claimed.”

Erdoğan said the peace process does not involve bargaining or making concessions to the terrorist organization.However, presidential hopeful Erdoğan also recalled that Öcalan is mainly serving a life sentence because the death penalty was abolished after he was captured by Turkey.

He said those politicians who abolished the death penalty, which included the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, have no right to criticize the government’s steps in the peace process today.

Erdoğan also said he has taken all of the risks for solving this issue.

“We started this process by taking serious risks. We have been subject to many threats, secret or open attacks, plots inside and outside the country after we started this process to prevent blood from being shed,” he added, addressing the relatives of fallen Turkish soldiers in Ankara.More than 3,500 people, all relatives of fallen Turkish soldiers, were nominated for public sector employment through a draw during iftar. A total of 3,527 relatives, including 192 women, have been nominated to public sector jobs.Erdoğan said they introduced such a right for the relatives with a law enforced in February, adding that 8,000 people applied to benefit from this right so far.He also said the government will work for the fallen soldiers outside Turkey.