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Rudaw

Turkey

Ankara ready for peace, if PKK lays down arms: FM

By Rudaw 2/1/2018
PKK fighters in Diyarbakir’s Sur district in November 2015. File photo: Ilyas Akengin/AFP
PKK fighters in Diyarbakir’s Sur district in November 2015. File photo: Ilyas Akengin/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Ankara is open to restarting the peace process with the PKK, if the Kurdish group ceases its armed activities, Turkey’s foreign minister stated. 

“If the PKK lays down its arms, it is possible that the peace process will restart,” Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German news agency DPA. 

“We had to take great risks to start the peace process in Turkey,” he said, adding that they received criticism from voters for doing so. 

“In the past, the PKK used the peace process for its own interests and brought arms into the cities. For the process to start again, laying down arms has to be implemented first,” he stressed.

The PKK, however, has claimed that 2017 ended with the Turkish state close to collapse.

“2017 went by, and now we enter 2018. Results? The Turkish state has failed to achieve results. On the contrary, they have been defeated,” Murat Karayilan, PKK executive council member, said in a recent interview with Denge Welat radio, according to PKK-linked ANF News. 

He acknowledged that the PKK have suffered casualties over the year, “but there is a system of mobilization in place in all states,” he said. 

He predicted 2018, the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the PKK, will be “a year of great resistance.”

Pundits are predicting Turkish parties will position themselves throughout 2018 in preparation for elections in 2019. The country will hold local elections in March that year and presidential and parliamentary elections in November. 

Cavusoglu said that Turkey’s Kurds are first class citizens and their rights are not to be violated.

Four years of a peace process ended in July 2015 when fighting resumed between the PKK and Turkish forces.

According to the International Crisis Group at least 3,338 people have been killed in the two and a half years of clashes. That number includes 1,036 state security forces and 1,646 PKK fighters. 

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Nam | 3/1/2018
Ankara is ready for peace and Iran opens borders! Reason: both countries realize it's payback time. They destroyed Kurdish dream and took Kirkuk away by force. Now the gloves are off and Kurdistan will become a launching pad for US invasion of Iran. There are 12 million Kurds in Iran ready to join the operation. Enough is enough with Persians and Ottomans expansionism and bigotry. The war has just begun!
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 3/1/2018
It may be over-thinking it, but I wonder if Ankara's nervous over how the power balance might shift if the Tehran Regime falls. THEORETICALLY, such would undercut the Abadi government and all but castrate that of Bashar Assad. AND, if those happened, then Kurdistan as a whole would be on much more solid ground.
THINK | 3/1/2018
NEVER lay down your arms and NEVER trust Turks. There is maybe 1 in every 1.000 or even 10.000 that I truly call my brother because that individual is not guided by Turkish nationalism. The rest of the Turks hate me to the core as me being a Kurd. Turkey would NEVER talk about peace process if they had no hidden agenda. DO NOT TRUST THESE SNAKES. They have jailed HDP leadership they have worked against Bashur they have and still are working against Rojava. They are trying to change demographics in Bakur and in Rojava. They are working with Arabs to pressure Bashur in submission. All these groups have one thing in common which they are all Kurds. I might be Muslim but PKK are more my brothers than any hypocrite Muslim Nationalist Turk. First back in 2012 I believe they invited PYD leadership in Constantinople but PYD leadership did not want to be slaves of the Turks then suddenly they were called "terrorist". Better die than living with no dignity and slave to dictators and oppressors. Turkey is aware that there end is near. They are at the point to either choose Russia or US. The other will destroy Turkey. The more things develop the more Turks will eventually betray Russia making Kurds more natural ally with the Kurds.
duroi | 3/1/2018
Release all the HDP MPs from prisons and remove the visiting restrictions on Ocalan if Erdogan is serious about resuming peace talks. Actions speak loader than words.
sam | 3/1/2018
peace with terrorists? are you kidding me. wipe these animal from the face of planet. peace only when the last terrorists has been killed
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