PM’s aide accuses PKK of poisoning settlement process

20 August 2013 /TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL – Chief adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Yalçın Akdoğan has criticized the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for their threatening statements that he says damage the settlement process seeking to resolve the terrorism problem. In a column he wrote for the Star daily on Tuesday, Akdoğan reflected on the latest statements from jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and Cemil Bayık, another PKK leader.

“Cemil Bayık is making a threat of a bigger war. He repeats the blackmail warning of halting the process if the second stage [of the settlement process] does not begin. It is impossible for the government, which never bowed to threats of terrorism, to bow to such blackmail-like statements that poison the process,” Akdoğan wrote.

According to Akdoğan, the PKK leadership in Kandil, a region in northern Iraq where most of their hideouts are based, is trying to prevent the government from benefiting from the solution process politically. “Kandil is portraying Öcalan as the architect of the process. It not only expects the government to make every step but it also prevents people from feeling grateful to the government. By always pumping opposition and hostility, the PKK and its extensions are trying to keep their grassroots alive,” he said.