Turkey - Kurds

(AE) TURKEY: Kurdish politician calls on EU to review position on PKK

Brussels, 14/11/2013 (Agence Europe) – On 14 November, the joint leader of the Peace and Democracy party, Selhattin Demirtas, called on the EU to review its position on the Kurdish PKK party – which is on the EU's list of terrorist organisations. “An important issue is that the PKK is still on the terrorist list. It is important to reflect” on this matter if a solution is to be found to the problem, said Demirtas at a European Parliament press conference. He stated that, to have a solution to the Kurdish issue, “it is really important and necessary” that the situation of the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, change.

Stressing that Turkey's progress in the negotiations is not currently enough, Demirtas said that it is important that the EU, and especially the European Parliament, encourage the parties. “The European Parliament must continue to push for a solution. It is not only dialogue that is needed but true negotiation. It is important for the Parliament to encourage the parties”, he said. “Even if the peace process does not involve Europe, the European Parliament must assume its responsibilities”, he added, acknowledging however, that many MEPs are already following the situation closely and trying to find a solution.

Although Europe is not involved, the issue nevertheless concerns it. “The solution to the Kurdish problem is not only an issue that concerns the Kurds. With the process of Turkey's accession to the EU, it is very important to see the lack of democracy and rights for the Kurdish people”, Demirtas stated (our translation throughout).

In Demirtas' view, it is important for a group to monitor the peace process neutrally. Jurgen Klute MEP (GUE, Germany) said that the joint EU-Turkey delegation could set up a small monitoring group that would be an initial step towards a bigger group. (CG/transl.fl)