Controversy over content of PKK’s calan’s letter deepens

A letter issued on Nevruz by Abdullah calan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK), has fuelled discussions over claims that President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan’s harsh rhetoric on the Kurdish issue was the reason why the letter did not take a more conciliatory tone. The message, read out during Nevruz celebrations in DiyarbakIr on Saturday, called on the PKK to end its armed fight against Turkey and hold a congress.

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A letter issued on Nevruz by Abdullah andOumlcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workersand#39 Partyand#39s (PKK), has fuelled discussions over claims that President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s harsh rhetoric on the Kurdish issue was the reason why the letter did not take a more conciliatory tone.

The message, read out during Nevruz celebrations in DiyarbakIr on Saturday, called on the PKK to end its armed fight against Turkey and hold a congress.

It also called for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission composed of the members of Parliament and a monitoring committee as part of the ongoing Kurdish settlement process aiming to bring an end to the Kurdish armed struggle that has lasted more than 30 years and cost nearly 40,000 lives.

The commission was set out by andOumlcalan as a prerequisite for sustained peace between the Turkish state and the PKK and to lay down arms.

However, the Buganduumln daily reported on Monday that the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) had submitted in January a legislation proposal to Parliament for the formation of such a commission that should have access to the stateand#39s classified documents and archives over its former policies on Kurds, as well as receive information from all state institutions without requiring permission.

The proposal also includes giving the commission the right to conduct meetings on a regional and international level, with its working period suggested as one year The HDP also proposed in the bill mobilizing prosecutorsand#39 offices in line with the commissionand#39s findings linked to unsolved murders of Kurds in the countryand#39s Southeast.

The commission is planned to focus in particular on the examination of the results of the 1980 military coup such as unsolved murders, human rights violations, mass killings, compulsoryforced migration, torture and lost people.

Deputy Prime Minister Banduumllent ArInandccedil, meanwhile, remarked that ErdoIanand#39s critical statements regarding the ongoing Kurdish settlement process over the week, targeting in particular the establishment of a monitoring committee that will observe the settlement process with Kurds, were the reasons why andOumlcalan did not give more positive messages for the establishment of peace in his letter

ArInandccediland#39s statement has caused comments that andOumlcalanand#39s letter had been changed and its tone became harsher than originally planned following ErdoIanand#39s remarks slamming the course of the talks.

andquotIf ErdoIan had not made that speech, how would the Nevruz message from ImralI [island, where andOumlcalan is being held] have been? I believe the letter would have been more positive and would have pointed out a more improved phase. But the message in its current form is still promising and positive,andquot ArInandccedil commented over the weekend.

h2PKK storing heavy weapons in Southeasth2 Meanwhile, the Sandoumlzcanduuml daily claimed on Monday that the PKK is storing heavy weapons such as heavy anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft stingers in the Southeast as well as distributing weapons to locals. The daily reported that the General Staff has confirmed the PKKand#39s activities to arm its militants and locals in preparation for a potential resuming of the armed fight with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

According to the daily, the General Staff, in response to the PKKand#39s preparations for the launch of an armed fight, has engaged in a plan to train military personnel in the event of a social uprising in the region and has taken extra security measures to prevent such an uprising from taking place.

The report claimed that around 1,000 anti-tank weapons are being hidden in PKK sympathizersand#39 homes and that most of these weapons entered the country from Turkeyand#39s border with Iran, with a high-ranking military officer telling the daily that key documents regarding the PKKand#39s armament are in their hands.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman