Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak said on March 2 that the captives abducted by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could be freed in the next 10 days.
Speaking during a press conference in Arbil, northern Iraq, Kışanak told reporters that the BDP delegation had held a meeting with Murat Karayılan, the de facto leader of the PKK. “On the issue of the abducted civil servants, they told us that they were starting work so that they could join their family. This is expected to last about a week or 10 days. I hope that an important development will occur in this period and [the captives] can join their families. Our hope is that this process will not be disrupted,” Kışanak said.
The jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, had sent a similar message in his public statement after the visit of a delegation of BDP deputies to İmralı island prison. His letter, conveyed by the BDP’s Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pervin Buldan following the return of the delegation from İmralı, called on the PKK to “treat their prisoners well” and suggested an eventual release. “I hope they [the captives] will rejoin their families,” it said.
According to a list given by the families of the captives to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), there are 16 captives being held by the PKK, including prospective Kulp district governor Kenan Erenoğlu, police officer Nadir Özgen, and specialists Sgt. Kemal Ekinci, Zihni Koç and Sgt. Abdullah Söpçeler.
Ahmet Türk, a Kurdish independent MP who was part of the first delegation to İmralı prison, thanked Öcalan for the process during the same press conference.
“If the steps are taken, peace will come quickly. But for that purpose every Turkish and Kurdish party should play its part” he said.
BDP Van deputy Aysel Tuğluk, who joined Kışanak and Türk for the meeting at the Kandil Mountains, said they had asked the PKK’s senior members to support the process. “Seeing such a strong will for a solution and peace despite the raid [carried out by the Turkish Air Force on Feb. 28] increase our hopes,” she said.
We know who leaked the talks to media: Buldan
Meanwhile, the heated debate about the source of the leak of the talks between the BDP and Öcalan on Feb. 28 has not quietened down.
Buldan said that the BDP would fight to avoid any disruption of the process, adding that they knew who was responsible for the leak. “Öcalan being an interlocutor in this process was part of our fight. We know exactly who leaked the talks to the media,” she said during an event organized in Batman.
For his part Altan Tan slammed claims that he is the source of the leak. “Lions do not become moles. I salute the jackals. The lions say what they have to say honestly. May the jackals watch their step,” he said.