By RUDAW yesterday at 07:42
Murat Karayilan, a key figure in the Kurdistan Worker’s Communities (KCK) which acts as the PKK’s political wing, has said the deadline for Ankara to act on the peace process is right after the August 10 elections. Photo: AFP
ANKARA, Turkey – Twenty one university students in Turkey are joining the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) movement, saying Ankara has been “fooling Kurds” with a peace process it has done nothing to advance.
Speaking on behalf of fellow students, Leila Nusaybein said they were declaring allegiance to the group after losing faith in Ankara’s sincerity toward the peace process, and because PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan remained jailed in his Turkish island prison.
The announcement by the students, who come from 13 different universities, comes as PKK fighters are expected to continue withdrawing from Turkey to bases in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan by this autumn.
Murat Karayilan, a key figure in the Kurdistan Worker’s Communities (KCK) which acts as the PKK’s political wing, has said the deadline for Ankara to act on the peace process is right after the August 10 elections.
“The process will be over unless they make a move right after the elections. Those moves may not come on the first day after the election, but if they make no move in one or two weeks, everyone should know that the process is over,” Karayilan said.
In its latest move, the Turkish government has proposed a “Draft Law to End Terrorism and Strengthen Social Integration,” which aims to legalize direct and indirect talks between the government and top PKK officials, including Ocalan. The bill would also disarm PKK militia fighters and grant them amnesty from prosecution.
Because Turkey designates the PKK as a terrorist organization, talks can easily be categorized as a crime under Turkey’s existing anti-terror legislation. Ocalan has welcomed the draft as an “historical development.”
Turkey’s Kurdish peace process is seen as key to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidential hopes in the August polls. He has exhausted his three permitted terms as prime minister and is therefore eyeing the presidency.
Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence for treason since 1999, is still perceived as a partner in the Turkish-Kurdish peace process, and plays a monumental role inside his highly extended and organized movement.