Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçin Akdoğan has criticized a senior figure from a group affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, for comments aimed at undermining efforts to find an end to PKK's 40-year terrorist campaign against Turkey.
Bese Hozat, co-chair of the union the Kurdistan Community Union - an umbrella organization for the PKK - said the party had taken a possible congress off their agenda due to what she said was the Turkish government's "failure to take the solution process forward."
The congress was called in March by PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan who urged the outlawed group to use it to lay down arms.
Hozat said in a pro-PKK television channel on Tuesday: "Unless the Kurdish issue is resolved and the Turkish constitution is changed, the PKK will not hold a congress."
The Turkish government launched the "solution process" with the PKK -- which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- in 2013 to end the conflict which has claimed 40,000 lives.
Akdoğan accused the PKK of lying about their plans to hold a congress in either April or May, saying: "The parliament is closed ahead of [June 7] general elections. How can the constitution be changed if the parliament is closed?
"Is there any trickery? If you [the PKK] were going to hold the congress, what thwarted you?"
The solution process would not move ahead through threats and blackmail, and only the nation could change the constitution, said Akdoğan.
"Having both gun and policy-making under the name of democracy will be trickery," the deputy prime minister added.
Akdoğan said the Kurdish issue had many dimensions and cited some as being "indifference and underdevelopment, discrimination and the terror issue."
He said the Turkish government had "put a political end to indiscrimination with democratic reforms and fought multi-dimensionally against terrorists."
He said the ruling Justice and Development Party had initiated the solution process and was alone when conducting the process, despite obstacles, and would continue it "from now on" despite attempts to sabotage it and threats.
He also accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or the HDP, as well as the PKK and the KCK of making policy through threats and by creating tension among Turkish nationals.
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