Kurdish leader hopeful for Turkey peace deal within 5 months

Sunday 30 Nov 2014

Abdullah Ocalan
Abdullah Ocalan (Photo: Reuters)

The jailed leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said Sunday he was hopeful the peace process with the authorities would be concluded successfully within five months with enough determination.

In a statement made public after pro-Kurdish lawmakers visited him in his island prison off Istanbul, Ocalan said that a framework for the peace talks to end the three-decade rebellion was about to be finalised.

"He (Ocalan) discussed it with the state officials in detail and they agreed that there is a framework on which negotiations could be carried out," the statement said.

"If the parties execute the process in a consistent, responsible and determined manner, a major democratic solution that could determine the future of the whole Middle East could be reached within 4-5 months."

Ocalan however did not specify any solid plans or expectations from the Turkish government in return, but said "the framework will soon be unveiled."

The PKK, whose rebellion for self-rule left 40,000 dead, had given the government until mid-October to show it is serious about the peace process. But Ankara has yet to come up with a comprehensive road map.

The peace process had appeared to be making progress, until the standoff over the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane besieged by Islamic State (IS) jihadists. Kurds have been infuriated by the lack of action by Turkey against IS.

In a new upsurge of violence, the Turkish army on Saturday confirmed the jihadists had staged an attack at the Mursitpinar border close to Kobane.

But the army vehemently denied allegations by pro-Kurdish media that the car involved in the strike had come from Turkish territory.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday put down a parliamentary question to the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, asking for an investigation on whether the attack had been staged from Turkey.

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