DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – On Tuesday, the Co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas called on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish army to put down arms.
Demirtas's call for a ceasefire came before his visit with an HDP delegation on Wednesday to the Kurdistan Region where he is expected to meet with officials including President Masoud Barzani and opposition parties' leaders.
At a press conference in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, Demirtas said the Turkish government should heed the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's "peace message," reported Kurdistan 24 bureau there.
Ocalan received a family visit after more than two years on September 11 during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha which is a public holiday in Turkey.
Calling the ongoing PKK-Turkey conflict "a blind war," Ocalan invited the Turkish State to conduct a new series of peace talks, according to his brother Mehmet who visited him on the Imrali Island prison in northwestern Turkey.
"Apparently, the Government has decided not to react [to Ocalan's message]. Because it is a message of peace that came from the Imrali. The Government does not want to tie itself by saying yes or no. If it says yes, it will have to abide by its consequences. If it rejects the peace message, its warmongering policies will be outed," said Demirtas.
The HDP leader whose party is the third largest block at the Turkish Parliament put the blame on the Government for the past 13 months' violence that has destroyed Kurdish cities and killed hundreds on both sides including civilians.
READY TO MEET ERDOGAN
HDP's Demirtas stated that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "should be brave" and cooperate with the opposition and the Kurds to solve the country's problems.
"We, the HDP, the Kurds, are not enemies of Turkey. I have long called on Erdogan to talk to us as the opposition lest he is misinformed by others. I believe Erdogan is being dragged into error by a team that has been misinforming and misdirecting him. We are ready to meet him face to face, for we believe the current course of events is leading to a disaster," said Demirtas among many of his remarks.
Demirtas also revealed that during his visit to the Kurdistan Region he was not going to meet the PKK leadership in the Qandil mountains.
HDP delegations used to relay messages between the mountain-based PKK commanders and Ocalan who is serving a life sentence on Imrali Island, between 2013 and 2015 until the peace negotiations broke down.