The Peace and Democracy Party co-chair vowed his support once again to the peace process engaged between the government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan during a speech in a meeting in Ağrı on Feb. 9, adding that the talks were initiated far too late. “They are 14 years late in going to İmralı. They are one hundred years late in talking with Kurds,” Selahattin Demirtaş said, referring to the island where the PKK leader has been imprisoned since 1999.
Demirtaş also stressed that they will not give up pursuing rights in their mother tongue, expressing his hopes that education in Kurdish becomes a reality. “Those who accept us with our identity are our brothers, but those who do not recognize us and talk about ‘bringing [us] to [our] knees’ are ignorant,” he said, calling on the government to cooperate during the constitution-making process in order to solve these questions.
The BDP co-chair has also reportedly given the green light to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s proposition to bring the draft Constitution to a referendum together with the BDP. Claiming that it was very hard to reach a consensus among the four parties who have a seat in Parliament, Erdoğan noted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could reach the required majority with the cooperation of the BDP.
Demirtaş told daily Milliyet that currently there is not a proposition on the table but the BDP might not decline such an offer in the future. Emphasizing that the BDP’s first choice would be a draft with the widest possible consensus, he nevertheless said that they were open to alternatives, according daily Milliyet’s report. “We don’t exactly overlap, but the party with which we have more common ground is the AKP,” he added.