Turkish minister says Kurdish party must review PKK tie


Volkan Bozkir claims no other political party wants to form coalition with HDP

ANKARA – The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) should review its relationship with the PKK and prove that it is a Turkish party, the country’s EU Minister has said.

Volkan Bozkir’s remarks came during a live interview on state broadcaster TRT on Wednesday as he was on an official visit to Berlin.

“There is the PKK [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party] terrorist organization in Turkey. There is a political party, the HDP. The people choose the party, but the candidates are determined in Qandil [PKK bases in northern Iraqi mountains],” said Bozkir.

He added: “That is why the HDP has no ability to ensure the laying down of weapons by the PKK.”

Bozkir also claimed that no other party wants to form a coalition government with the HDP.

Since the June 7 general election, after the first-placed Justice and Development (AK) Party lost its majority in parliament, four parliamentary parties have been negotiating over a possible coalition government, with the focus being on a deal between the two largest groups: the AK Party and the Republican People’s Party.

“The HDP should get this message clearly,” said Bozkir and asked: “As the HDP, can you call the PKK a terrorist organization? Second, can you tell the PKK: ‘You should lay down the weapons’? Third, can you tell the PKK: ‘Take your militants and leave Turkey’?”

Turkey has recently seen a wave of violence across the country, which has claimed the lives of police officers, soldiers and civilians, for which the authorities mainly blame the PKK.

The violence has also stalled the ‘solution process’ — a Turkish government initiative started in 2013 to end the 30-year conflict with Kurdish militants.

Bozkir also said: “The weapons would be laid down and buried, and the militants should leave Turkey. If these things happened, then the solution process would come back on the agenda again.”

Referring to Turkey’s ongoing police operations, he said: “We have launched the fight against terrorism … For us, Daesh, the PKK and DHKP-C are the same.”