Kurdish militants jeopardize peace process

EU minister says peace process with Kurdish militants cannot carry on until they leave Turkey.

Kurdish militants jeopardize peace process

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s “solution process” to end the 30-year conflict with Kurdish militants cannot continue until they lay down their arms and leave the country, EU Minister Volkan Bozkir said on Friday.

Bozkir is on a tour of EU members to explain the recent renewal of operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU - and the apparent end of peace negotiations officially initiated in 2013.

“It was an extremely detailed and beneficial meeting,” he said after meeting Britain's European Minister David Lidington in Aylesbury, a town to the north of London.

“The aim of our visit - just like in visits to other European capitals - was in making a correct analysis on recent developments in Turkey and informing on operations started recently, their aims and our expectations.

“We have conveyed the message that the peace process would not end if certain conditions are met but it is impossible to continue the process unless terrorist groups lay down their arms and leave the country.”

Since the July 20 Suruc bombing that killed 33, PKK attacks on Turkish security forces have escalated dramatically and Turkey has responded with a wave of arrests and strikes on militants in Turkey and northern Iraq.

Bozkir said Turkey could benefit from Britain’s experience in coming to a settlement with armed nationalist groups in Northern Ireland, where the 1997 Good Friday Agreement ended 27 years of violence.

“The distance left behind and the instruments and methods used by the UK have been and will continue to be useful regarding Turkey’s solution process,” he told reporters after the closed meeting at the Hartwell Hotel.

“The importance of acting together in the fight against ISIL with the UK, France and Germany is clear,” Bozkir added, underlining Turkey’s cooperation with the U.S.

Bozkir said the meeting also addressed Cyprus - the former British colony where the separate Greek and Turkish communities are moving towards a reunification deal.

“We have expressed joint satisfaction with the positive flow of talks on the island,” Bozkir said.

“We will come together again and take up how we can accelerate a solution, how we can eliminate problems that might arise and how the new status of southern Cyprus would be integrated to the EU.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Ağustos 2015, 09:23