Turkish opposition leader says talks would secure Kurdish ceasefire

By REUTERS
August 30, 2015 08:03
1 minute read.

THE HAGUE- The joint leader of Turkey's opposition People's Democracy Party (HDP) said on Saturday he expected the militant Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) to lay down its arms if Turkey resumed negotiations with the armed group.

A process aimed at bringing to an end the 30-year conflict between Turkey and the armed Kurdish group has been suspended since a bombing in the southeastern city of Suruc in July which killed 30 people.

Speaking to reporters ahead of an election rally in The Hague, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said renewed negotiations would end the flare-up in clashes between Turkish armed forces and Kurdish fighters near Turkey's southeastern border.

The HDP, most of whose support comes from Turkey's Kurdish minority and which entered parliament for the first time after elections in June, has been at loggerheads with the more radical PKK since the bombing.

The PKK has scorned HDP calls for a ceasefire. But Demirtas said this did not spell an end to prospects for peace.

"What (PKK) meant was: 'if a solution is brought back onto the political agenda, they won't even have to call for us to lay arms, we will do it anyway,'" Demirtas said, adding that a strong showing for the HDP in parliamentary elections in November would increase the chances of resuming talks.


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