President Erdoğan says reconciliation efforts of Ankara exploited by PKK
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 24, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 24, 2015 12:00 am
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the reconciliation process the government launched to end the decades-long conflict between the outlawed PKK and the state has been exploited by the PKK and "every step the government took to push forward the process" has been responded to with abuse.
Erdoğan said, "The separatist terrorist organization" never approached the positive steps the government took to invigorate democracy and ensure the basic principles of rights and freedom.
"The Oct. 6-7 incidents were sad for us on this point. Our citizens in the east have been facing threats [by the PKK] that limit their freedom. In the last phase, things went out of control, and when we assess the developments in Syria, the structures out there required Turkey to take a different kind of step."
Ankara and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) have been pursuing a reconciliation process to end the decades-long conflict between the state and the PKK since 2013, but the process saw serious setbacks prior to the June elections with friction emerging between the mediator HDP and Ankara. Turkey truly believed a new leaf had been turned when the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan called on the PKK to convene to lay down arms in his annual Nevruz message before the elections, but there has been no attempt nor an announcement for the act so far. Indeed, the PKK has ramped up its violence and vandalism since the elections, dealing a huge blow to the reconciliation process.