Turkish PM urges for immediate PKK disarmament

Türkiye Materials 3 March 2015 00:56 (UTC +04:00)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Mar.2 that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, must immediately lay down arms after its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan called on members to hold a conference to discuss disarmament.

PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, U.S. and the European Union and its terrorist attacks have claimed around 40,000 lives in Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported.

The call came Saturday as a historic step forward in the Kurdish "solution process," a government initiative that officially started in 2013 to end the decades-old conflict with PKK, which has fought for an independent Kurdish state since 1984.

"This is the cutting edge of the efforts we are making in the 35-year conflict," Davutoglu said during a TV interview. "It is a significant statement since it completely rejects violence."

Davutoglu said that laying down weapons will pave the way for democratic politics.

"Once they have done what is necessary, even the most unusual opinions could be discussed," he said.

Davutoglu praised the call for disarmament by PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan which was announced by the Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, over the weekend.

HDP also proposed 10 measures to be taken in support of the "solution process" including "legal and democratic guarantees of free citizenship," "pluralistic democratic understanding toward definition and adoption of identity," "the defining criteria of a democratic republic" and a "new constitution that aims to adopt all democratic moves and transformations."

Davutoglu rejected that those 10 measures constituted "preconditions" for the disarmament.

Asked if a heavily-debated security bill supported by the government could be suspended after the disarmament call, Davutoglu ruled out any possibility of a delay in the bill.

"The package will cripple the solution process if approved as it is," the prime minister said.

HDP and other opposition parties in the parliament have strongly opposed proposed internal security package which they claimed curbs individual rights and freedoms.

Earlier on Monday, Justice and Development Party Group Chairman Mahir Unal told The Anadolu Agency that they are ready for discussing objections of all opposition parties to the bill, and for "renegotiating it to allay their concerns."

The reform package bill criminalizes participation in protests with covered faces and makes the possession of Molotov cocktails punishable with up to 5 years behind bars.