World Bulletin / News Desk
While the leaked İmralı minutes continue to feed debates circulating in the national media, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the government does not want a second Habur incident over the possible release of public officials kidnapped by the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the days to come.
Erdoğan was speaking at a press conference held in Ankara on Thursday.
On Oct. 19, 2009 the PKK turned over a group of its members to Turkish authorities at the Habur border gate, which was at the time seen as a groundbreaking move that might have led to the disarmament of the PKK. However, PKK supporters turned the militants' return into a major show of power, with massive demonstrations in the Southeast, offending nationalist sentiment in Turkey and also the families of soldiers killed in clashes with the PKK.
The incident led to an interruption in the government's efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the decades-old conflict. Erdoğan says another Habur incident could harm the ongoing peace process.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan also spoke about the ongoing debates regarding the leaked İmralı meeting minutes and addressed the media outlet which published the story to announce the culprit responsible for the leak.
The minutes of the recent meeting between PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and three BDP deputies were leaked to the press last week, in what has been interpreted as an apparent move to sabotage the positive atmosphere around Turkey's latest efforts to end the decades-long conflict that has engulfed the country's Southeast.
"If we remain patient for a while, our colleagues from the media may publicize the source of the leak. They know it and they have to announce it. Patience is needed for that. But if they don't announce it, then we will," Erdoğan said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Mart 2013, 11:55