Cemil Bayık, the “number two” man of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said on Thursday that the possibility of a cease-fire is out of the question unless the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan is set free and that the required conditions to launch negotiations to seek a solution to the Kurdish problem must be met.
Bayık, also head of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for the PKK, argued that following Öcalan’s call for the PKK to lay down their arms two-and-a-half years ago, the PKK has observed an atmosphere of a cease-fire. “But despite the PKK’s move for inaction, the Turkish government has never acted in conjunction with this de facto cease-fire,” Bayık continued to argue.
“Öcalan is currently being held in prison and he is prevented from engaging in talks on the Kurdish issue, which has dominated the country’s agenda for 40 years, since the PKK launched an armed campaign that has claimed more than 40,000 lives, making a cease-fire impossible,” Bayık said.
He argued that holding Öcalan in prison is a clear reason to re-launch a war against the Turkish state.
In an article published by the Azadiya Welat daily on Thursday, Bayık contended that the government has never fulfilled the necessary conditions for sustainable peace and expedited the construction of “kalekol” (military outposts with high security) in southeastern Turkey.
He also stated that if the current government or the future government to be formed does not consider addressing the Kurdish problem and negotiating with Öcalan then nothing will change in terms of the cease-fire.