President Barzani meets with Turkey's Kurdish opposition leader

The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani on Wednesday met with the Co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas in Erbil.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani on Wednesday met with the Co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas in Erbil.

The meeting between President Barzani and a delegation headed by Demirtas took place in the town of Pirmam, also known as Salahadin.

The HDP delegation included co-deputies Fatma Kurtulan, Nadir Yildirim, MPs Besime Konca, Celal Dogan, Imam Tascier, Nimetullah Erdogmus, Mithat Sancar, and Osman Baydemir representing various Kurdish electoral districts in Turkey.

With 59 seats, HDP is the third largest block at the Turkish Parliament.

There was no statement from either side regarding the contents of the meeting, as of the time of publishing this story.

On Tuesday, before his visit to Erbil, the HDP leader had called on the Turkish Army and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to put down arms and “give politics a chance.”

President Barzani played an instrumental role in the 2013-2015 peace negotiations and ceasefire between the Turkish Government and the PKK before the conflict restarted.

Before the meeting with Barzani, Demirtas visited the Kurdistan Parliament and sat with the Deputy Speaker Jafar Eminki and several parliamentarians.

Speaking to reporters, Demirtas said his delegation would meet numerous Kurdish civic organizations and political parties including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Goran Movement, and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU).

The delegation is also set to meet with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and visit the city of Sulaimani later.

“Of course, the common message of all Kurdish parties to the world is peace. We are an oppressed people. We, as the Kurdish people, do not have any demand other than living in peace on our own land,” Demirtas said.

“I hope our meetings here strengthen Kurdish unity in all four parts of Kurdistan,” the HDP leader continued. 

“Our people long for Kurdish parties’ standing together and cooperation. This is what Kurdistan needs,” Demirtas added.

The phrase “four parts of Kurdistan” refers to the geographically contiguous Kurdish-majority areas divided between the states of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria.

At a press conference after the meeting with Barzani, Demirtas spoke of the importance of Kurdish unity, calling for closer cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and the self-declared Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava or the Syrian Kurdistan.
 
"We cannot blame only our enemies for what has happened in the last century. It is our disunity too is a reason for the calamities that befell us," the HDP Co-chair said.
 
Demirtas also said the struggle for Kurdish national rights in Iranian Kurdistan needed more attention by all parties.
 
A press release on the website of the Kurdistan Region Presidency stated that Barzani hoped the now collapsed peace process between the government of Turkey and the Kurdish population would resume.
 
"It is only through peaceful means that the Kurds of Turkey can further obtain their cultural and political rights," the press release read quoting Barzani.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa