BDP says Öcalan likely to reveal details of PKK withdrawal within days


BDP deputies Pervin Buldan (L) and S?rr? Süreyya Önder held a press conference on Sunday after meeting with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. (Photo: ?HA, Erhan Y?lmaz)
TODAYSZAMAN.COM, ?STANBUL At a press conference held after a meeting with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP) said the PKK head will reveal the details of the terrorist group’s planned withdrawal from Turkey in the coming days.

A BDP delegation that included BDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirta? as well as deputies S?rr? Süreyya Önder and Pervin Buldan traveled to ?mral? island on Sunday to meet with Öcalan and hear his response to a letter sent to him by the commanders of the PKK based in the Kandil mountains in northern Iraq.

Following the meeting, Buldan and Önder held a press conference at the BDP’s ?stanbul headquarters. Demirta? was unable to attend the conference as he was scheduled to be elsewhere. Buldan said the meeting lasted for an hour and a half and Önder read out a message from Öcalan.
“The peace process we are currently going through is continuing at full speed. I am striving to make the ceasefire permanent and to ensure a withdrawal. I can say we are happier now at this stage to which we have come. In this context, I will reveal the details of the efforts we are making,” Öcalan’s statement said.

Önder said that they delivered the letter from Kandil to Öcalan and added that the PKK leader will send a response to Kandil about the withdrawal of PKK terrorists from Turkey. The message will also be made public, he noted.

Öcalan, imprisoned on the island of ?mral? in the Marmara Sea off ?stanbul, and National Intelligence Organization (M?T) officials have been engaged in negotiations since October of last year. The negotiations have come to be called the “peace process” or the “settlement process.” In a historic letter in March that was read by BDP deputies at a Nevruz celebration, Öcalan ordered his organization’s militants to pull out from Turkey as part of a new “era of peace” in which no guns or violence will be used to pursue the Kurdish cause. Since then, the way in which the terrorists will leave the country has become a hot topic of discussion.

The PKK says it will withdraw if Parliament passes a law to ensure the security of the PKK terrorists as they pull out of the country. The government is, however, reluctant to pass such a law.

There have been media reports that Öcalan will demand a weapons-free withdrawal by the PKK.

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