GeriGündem Turkey's pro-Kurdish DTP's PKK criticism, denial creates confusion
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Turkey's pro-Kurdish DTP's PKK criticism, denial creates confusion

Turkey's pro-Kurdish party criticized the PKK on Wednesday saying its armed struggle hurt Kurds, as Turkey set to intensify its relations with the administration in northern Iraq in its fight against the outlawed separatists. However Ahmet Turk and other DTP officials immediately denied the report. Turk later said in a written statement, his statement was misinterpreted, adding the DTP have long said the disputes harm both the Turkish and Kurdish people. (UPDATED)

Turkish MPs from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) welcomed on Thursday Turk's statements.

"I obviously and clearly say the PKK's armed struggle harms Kurdish people. It strengthens the soldiers. A peaceful step shall be taken for solution, and if necessary we oppose the PKK," the website of Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) quoted DTP parliamentary group leader Ahmet Turk as saying. Turk added the DTP would "engage in a struggle" to end the terrorist activities if "the Kurdish identity and language were recognized" in Turkey.  

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has rejected to hold talks with the DTP on the Kurdish issue due to the party's refusal to declare the PKK as a terrorist organization.        

However Turk denied that he criticized the PKK saying he didn't even use the separatists' name in the interview. Turk said Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told him that the Kurdish issue should be solved through diplomatic and political means and he told the president that they are exerting efforts to end violence, Milliyet reported. Turk added he didn't even use the name of the PKK.

Turk later said in a written statement, his statement was misinterpreted, adding the DTP have long said the disputes harm both the Turkish and Kurdish people.

"We defend that Kurds need to reach a consensus getting together to end the violence and the clashes, and to solve the 'Kurdish question' on peaceful grounds," the statement read.

DTP Deputy Chairman Mustafa Sarikaya said those words don't reflect the party's stance. "We say that nobody is in favor of violence which will not create any solutions, but if there is a will to find a solution under these circumstances, then the necessary circumstances should be prepared. We are a party who wants an end to armed struggle," he added.

Turk's statements were "positive," Necati Cetinkaya, deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling AKP, said on Thursday. "We have been hearing such statements for quite sometime now and I think it is a very positive approach, which would hopefully help end the problem," Cetinkaya told reporters after a meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

"Members of the political movements of that region need to acknowledge the desire for a peaceful co-existence. We have yet to see any steps that we wished to see concerning terrorism," Sami Guclu, another MP from the AKP, said.

TURKEY'S RELATIONS WITH N.IRAQ

Turkey has intensified its fight against the PKK on both diplomatic and military fronts. The Turkish army has been carrying out ground operations against PKK positions in Turkey as well as air operations in northern Iraq. On the diplomatic front, Ankara has begun to establish a dialogue mechanism with the Kurdish administration of northern Iraq, an important shift in Turkey's foreign policy.

In Ankara Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday Turkey's direct dialogue with the regional administration in the north of Iraq was based on confidence building.

Concrete steps rather than mere words were necessary for confidence building, he said at a joint press conference with British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband.

Babacan urged the regional administration in northern Iraq to take concrete steps in Turkey's fight against terrorist the organization PKK. He added this would contribute to dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and the regional administration there.

He also said visits by Turkish officials to the north of Iraq should be seen as routine. Babacan said he had advised Turkey's Special Envoy to Iraq, Murat Ozcelik, to visit this country at least once a month.

Ozcelik arrived on Tuesday in Baghdad to hold talks with Iraqi officials, including Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Zebari urged Turkey, during his meeting with Ozcelik, to respect Iraq's sovereignty and avoid unilateral operations in northern Iraq, adding Iraq wanted to cooperate against terrorism, PUKmedia reported on Thursday.

 

Ozcelik told Zebari Turkey was ready for cooperation and coordination with Iraqi authorities, it added.

 

Zebari also praised the meeting between the Turkish delegation and the Kurdish regional administration, and added, this would contribute to the improvement of the relations between Turkey and Iraq, PUKmedia added.

 

Ozcelik also met on Thursday Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi in Baghdad. The bilateral relations topped the agenda of the meeting between Murat Ozcelik and al-Hashimi, the Anatolian Agency reported.


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