3 December 2012 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM , İSTANBUL – Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has said the government would take every step and hold talks with anyone who would help solve the country’s long-standing Kurdish issue, signaling possible talks with jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan.
Atalay said on Monday that the government will continue to take necessary steps “for the benefit of the country.” “We do not and will not hesitate to have talks with whomever necessary, to take any necessary step and to take necessary decisions to stop the ongoing bloodshed,” Atalay said. His remarks signal that new talks with jailed PKK leader Öcalan may be possible. Turkish officials have held talks with Öcalan on the prison isle of İmralı over the past few years, but the talks are currently stalled. Top intelligence officials also held secret meetings with senior PKK representatives in Oslo in recent years and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in September that more talks were possible. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin also said recently that that talks with Öcalan could be held when it is necessary and under the appropriate circumstances.