A pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) committee visiting the Qandil Mountains, where the outlawed PKK's headquarters are located, said yesterday that if the government takes the required steps, a committee to lay down arms can be convened in just one day.
Ankara interpreted these remarks as delaying tactics, since the disarmament committee was expected to be held weeks ago after the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan called on the PKK to lay down their arms in a Nevruz message in March.
Öcalan made a much-anticipated disarmament call on Nevruz Day. His message, which called for the PKK to hold a congress and lay down their arms, was seen as a key step toward reaching a permanent resolution to Turkey's decades-old Kurdish issue. The government, on the other hand, has consistently underlined that there can be no preconditions to disarmament.
Bese Hozat, the co-chair of the PKK's umbrella organization, the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), has recently called on the government to form a constitution for the PKK to disarm, a call which was slammed by the government.
Turkey's Kurds claim that previous governments neglected their needs, and implemented a policy of denial and suppression. In the last decade, the government has allowed learning Kurdish in state schools and established university departments to study the language. Turkey's state TV has a Kurdish channel and the state-run news agency has been running news in Kurdish.
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