CHP leader to question PM on negotiations with ?mral?

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
The CHP chief said the PKK had extended its cease-fires due to the meetings with the government.
The CHP chief said the PKK had extended its cease-fires due to the meetings with the government.

Turkey’s main opposition leader said Friday that he intended to quiz the prime minister about the content of conversations with Turkey’s most prominent convicted terrorist.
“What are those negotiations?” Republican People’s Party, or CHP, leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu said Friday in reference to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s supposed contacts with Abdullah Öcalan, the convicted leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, who is incarcerated on ?mranl? Island in the Marmara Sea.
“What did you bargain on and what did you obtain during the meetings? Why are these [PKK cease-fire] decisions delayed often? They would probably explain them, we will ask. Maybe he would give up visiting us if he hears these. But I am openly saying that I will ask these, so he should make his preliminary preparations,” K?l?çdaro?lu told reporters.
The CHP chief said the PKK had extended its cease-fires due to the meetings with the government, not because of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, statements or its Kurdish initiative.
Öcalan’s lawyers said Friday that that the PKK leader urged his organization to continue its period of inaction until Sept. 1, according to news reports. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
K?l?çdaro?lu said his doors were open to Erdo?an for a possible negotiation on the new constitution after Erdo?an announced that he would knock on his door to do so.
K?l?çdaro?lu also said similar negotiations were made during the government of ex-Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit. “The matter is that we are deceiving our people. There are negotiations, we do not tell the truth to the public,” said the opposition leader, adding that Erdo?an denied the negotiations once the issue was first made public by media.

But the CHP leader clarified his remarks on the issue, saying, “We have never found it correct to look into the issue from only the political frame and say ‘no such a negotiation shouldn’t happen.’”

He also said there was no threat of division in the country but there were political statements made by Erdo?an that had sparked fears of a split. “Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is a separatist in this country. He builds [his political rhetoric] on separating the nation. This would deepen the political crisis even more.”

K?l?çdaro?lu also said the first three articles of the Constitution were non-negotiable red lines.

Criticism toward Baykal

Without naming his name, K?l?çdaro?lu also criticized former party chief Deniz Baykal for making criticism about the CHP’s election results via the media.

“I am the party leader. If there is something to criticize, an appointment is taken and criticism is made. Our mistakes are explained. We respect all, we listen to everybody. We too have thoughts, we likewise express our thoughts. It is not right to speak out via media,” K?l?çdaro?lu said.

“I know that colleagues who have served in the party management for years voiced the same complaints at that time. I don’t find it true for those who made the same complaints at that time to remain in the same position,” he said, referring to former chief Baykal and some former party officials’ outspoken criticism that the CHP had not been successful in the elections.

In response to a pro-Baykal group’s demands to hold an extraordinary convention during which a new leader could be elected, K?l?çdaro?lu said the convention would be held as scheduled.

“These types of demands can be voiced within the limits of democracy but I don’t find it right to engage in mutual debate via the media,” he said, adding that nobody would be in power for life, including the party leaders and central executive board members.

‘PM’s move not gesture but hypocrisy’

K?l?çdaro?lu also said he did not take Erdo?an’s balcony speech as a gesture. “If he thinks that he will please all, this is two-facedness, not sincerity. It is not even forgiveness at all,” K?l?çdaro?lu said.

He said the prime minister’s recent move to withdraw cases he had filed against politicians had nothing to do with turning a new page in politics as Erdo?an was “going to lose those cases” regardless.

K?l?çdaro?lu, meanwhile, said he would not withdraw the cases he filed against the prime minister.

The CHP leader also expressed disappointment about some provinces’ support for his party during the June 12 elections, noting that he had expected to elect one deputy each from Elaz??, Kütahya, Batman and Düzce.

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