PUK politburo spokesperson Saadi Pira (right) meets with Turkey's Consul General to the Kurdistan Region Hakan Karacay on June 6, 2018. Photo: PUK Media
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan called for Turkey to take "a careful review" of their foreign ministry's position of the PUK aiding the PKK.
Saadi Ahmed Pira, a PUK politburo member and its spokesperson, received Turkish Consul General Hakan Karacay on Wednesday.
The PUK statement details that Pira “had shown PUK’s astonishment and concerns about the statement made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in which he accuses the PUK of aiding the PKK.”
The Kurdistan Workers' Party is banned in Turkey and is designated by Ankara, Washington, and Brussels as a terrorist organization. The group found a safe haven until 1999 in the Beqaa Valley of Syria.
“PUK’s response to the statements made by the Turkish foreign minister is PUK’s endeavors in the Beqqa negotiations in 1993 to stop the unilateral war between Turkey and the PKK under mediations by President Jalal Talabani," read the PUK statement.
Talabani, who passed away in 2017, led the PUK since its establishment in 1975.
"The PUK’s policy about this question remains unchanged to this day. Our efforts are to peacefully resolve all the problems and rivalries through dialogue, not war and violence,” Pira, who also heads the party’s public relations bureau, added.
They also discussed political situations in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region along with the Iraqi parliamentary election results and efforts to form the next Iraqi government.
The Turkish consulate did not release a statement on the meeting by time of publication.
The meeting came after the Turkish foreign minister accused the PUK of abetting the PKK, which has its headquarters in the Qandil Mountains in the far northeast of Sulaimani province near the Turkey-Iran border.
“We are aware that a group within the PUK is aiding the PKK, and the PKK has strengthened its position in Sulaimani because of this assistance,” Cavusoglu said on Tuesday
during a news conference while speaking about his country’s ongoing operation in Qandil.
Turkish forces have pushed at least 27 kilometers into the Kurdistan Region and have been conducting an intensified bombing campaign.
Cavusoglu had also claimed that "the PKK has threatened the PUK leadership."
“The PUK doesn’t wish for bloodshed under the name of the Kurds, Turks or names of other communities. That is why a careful review of this stance by Turkey is important and will guarantee the protection of peace in the region,” Pira said after the meeting on Wednesday.
The PUK maintains large security and intelligence services in the Kurdistan Region, especially in Sulaimani. The party won the second-most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary election on May 12.