World Bulletin/News Desk
Kurds in Turkey would earn greater gains if they support peace, the President of Iraq's Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani said.
Barzani said that significant steps have been taken in Turkey towards settling the decades-long Kurdish issue, according to a statement released on the Kurdish region's website on Thursday.
The Kurdish leader's comments came at a meeting with Sirri Sakik, the mayor of the eastern Turkish province of Agri.
"Everybody needs to be patient so that the peace process can be successful," Barzani said, referring to Turkey's solution process for resolving the Kurdish issue.
"The armed struggle of the Kurdish people in Turkey was to protect their presence and defend their identity. Kurds should now guarantee their rights through political and peaceful means," Barzani said, adding that he is pleased with the current peaceful environment in Turkey.
Barzani also called for supporting those who are working for peace, and warned against giving chauvinists and fascists excuses that they can use against the peace process.
"We should not give opportunities to the dark forces who want to start a war between the peoples in the region," he warned.
Barzani said that the recent entry by Peshermarga fighters into the Syrian town of Kobani to support Kurdish armed groups fighting against the ISIL led to a surge in Kurds' national feelings.
"This has strengthened our union, and our power lies in being united. If we want to succeed, we should be one," he said.
Sakik said that significant progress has been achieved in Turkey since the beginning of the solution process, and that peaceful and political means benefited Kurds.
Sakik also called on all parties to hold a Kurdish National Congress.
The solution process launched early last year by the Turkish government aims to secure an end to the decades-long conflict with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
The PKK is listed by Turkey, EU and the U.S. as a terrorist organization.
Turkey recently allowed about 160 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to pass through Turkey into Kobani where Kurdish armed groups have been waging a fierce battle against the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Kasım 2014, 09:55