ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – President of the autonomous Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani stated on Sunday that Kurdish issues in neighboring Turkey should be resolved through peaceful means.
Barzani’s statement came during a meeting in Erbil with the delegation of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), headed by the party’s co-chair Sezai Temelli.
“It’s time for peace and the Kurdish question in Turkey should be addressed through peaceful means because war would resolve nothing,” Barzani said, according to a statement released by his press office.
“No opportunities for peace in Turkey shall be missed,” he added.
Since the 1980s, more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish government. After a few years of a ceasefire, established in 2013 with leaders from the Kurdistan Region playing a key role in the process, clashes once again restarted between the PKK and Turkish forces in 2015.
Barzani stated that he would continue his efforts to restart the peace talks in Turkey and will do what is necessary to take the process forward, the statement added.
The HDP delegates congratulated Barzani for assuming his new role as President and praised his past efforts toward peace. They also stressed that peace is in the interest of all in Turkey and that the Kurdish people hope for a successful solution.
The meeting came one day after HDP members arrived in Erbil to meet with Masoud Barzani, president of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and former president of the Kurdistan Region.
Over the past few years, Ankara has increased its military operations against the PKK, which Turkey, the EU, and the US have designated a “terrorist organization.”
Turkish forces have crossed into the Kurdistan Region up to 30 kilometers deep in some areas to target the group, with regular airstrikes aimed at its fighters and hideouts. The PKK’s headquarters is located in the autonomous region's Qandil Mountains.
Editing by John J. Catherine