PKK leader and gov’t agreed on multi-step road map


 The proposals being discussed on İmralı Island, where PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan is serving his life sentence, include the end of confrontation.

Critical negotiations between the Turkish intelligence chief and the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’Party (PKK) are focusing on a gradual agenda of conflict resolution, Turkish media reported yesterday.

According to the reports, the proposals being discussed on İmralı Island, where Abdullah Öcalan is serving his life sentence, include the end of confrontation, the deportation of PKK militants, and the eventual transfer of the PKK leader to home confinement.

Eyüp Can, the editor-in-chief of daily Radikal, noted that the talks didn’t mention the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region nor the deep and contentious political reforms that such a move would involve.

“Having read the regional dynamics from Syria to Iraq and Iran very carefully, Öcalan said, ‘I raise the idea of democratic autonomy with the sole intent of discussing and defining it, not in order to impose it,’ and clearly expressed that in the present phase of the talks, he sees the resolution of the Kurdish conflict as part of Turkey’s democratization problem. According to Öcalan, each step made toward democratization is a gain for the Kurdish people,” wrote Can.

Can detailed a process involving a “four-step ladder strategy” of ending confrontation, deporting PKK militants, negotiating disarmament and ending the armed conflict. Can stressed that issues such as a new definition of Turkish citizenship, the right to receive an education in one’s mother tongue and the reinforcement of local governance were going to be discussed during the third phase. Eventual general amnesty and the transfer of Öcalan to home confinement were the most divisive issues on the table and consequently are treated as issues “neither considered nor discarded,” wrote Can.

Taraf newspaper’s political editor, Veysi Polat, reported that Öcalan and Fidan disagreed on a schedule for PKK disarmament. According to Polat, Öcalan argued that it wouldn’t be possible to consider disarmament before building a trustworthy environment. The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), in its closed-door meeting, gave its full support to Öcalan and emphasized that because of its sensitivity, disarmament should be discussed at the end of the process, wrote Polat


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