Turkey says Kurdish opening continues despite PKK return delay

Atalay said that the government put on hold the return (surrender) of PKK members due to reactions.

Turkey says Kurdish opening continues despite PKK return delay

Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay said Monday that the government put on hold the return (surrender) of PKK members due to reactions.

Attending a live programme on Turkey's state run TRT channel, Atalay said though the surrender of PKK members was an important part of the government's democratization initiative, they put it on hold as the exploitation of the issue created wide public reaction.

34 members of PKK from Makhmour refugee camp and Qandil Mountain --8 of which were dressed in PKK terrorist uniforms-- surrendered to Turkish authorities at Habur border gate on October 19. Huge rallies were held resembling victory celebrations with the participation of thousands of people and DTP officials to welcome the group of PKK members, a scene which created strong reaction in the public, opposition, media and the judiciary.

He said they postponed the return of PKK members and would further assess the situation.

"Our people have concerns and their concern is very important for us. We will consider them but the democratization initiative continues," said Atalay.

Responding to criticism that the "Democratization Initiative" was a foreign project imposed to Turkey, Atalay said Turkey was trying to solve its own problems with self esteem.

He rejected allegations that the government was talking to the terrorist organization adding that the government would never take illegal organizations as interlocutor.

Commenting on the reaction of families of soldiers killed in the fight against PKK, Atalay said, "martyrs are very important to us. But we are exerting efforts so that we won't suffer any more losses. I urge these families to show understanding."


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Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ekim 2009, 11:10
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