World Bulletin/News Desk
The European Union has said it supports Turkey’s ongoing efforts to solve the three-decade conflict between Ankara and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), amid a rise in tensions brought on by fighting in neighboring Syria.
"The EU extended its full support to this [solution] process and encouraged further engagement by all parties,” an annual progress report released Wednesday - which measures Turkey’s preparation for EU membership - stated.
The report comes amid protests in Turkey by Kurds, that are linked to tensions arising from ongoing fighting between ISIL and Kurdish fighters in the Syrian city of Kobani, just kilometers from Turkey’s southern border.
Violence has broken out in several major Turkish cities.
On June 11, the Turkish Parliament adopted a law, with broad support from several parties, to strengthen social inclusion and reintegrate those who quit the PKK.
"The law strengthened the basis for the settlement process and makes a positive contribution to stability and [the] protection of human rights in Turkey," the EU report added.
The legislation - which came into force October 1 - also provides legal guarantees to intelligence officers conducting talks with PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, according to the report.
Other measures adopted in March allow political parties to campaign in languages other than Turkish during parliamentary and local elections, permitted private education in children’s mother tongue, and lifted a criminal punishment for the use of non-Turkish letters – addressing problems stemming from the use of Kurdish letters X, Q and W, the report said.
On October 1, Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party, said he backed the solution process initiated by the government last year.
"We will keep on putting our support behind the solution process both at the parliament and other platforms, to carry it through to success," Demirtas told the media following a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ekim 2014, 15:28