KCK leader says PKK disarmament conference no longer on agenda

A senior leader of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that encompasses the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said on Tuesday that a planned conference to discuss PKK disarmament will not be convened anytime soon because the government has not taken agreed upon steps.

“Convening this conference is not on our agenda at the moment because the process has not worked and no step has been taken,” Bese Hozat, the KCK’s executive council co-leader, said in remarks broadcast on pro-PKK Med Nuce television, which broadcasts from Europe.

Hozat said the PKK had agreed to convene a conference to discuss laying down arms in Turkey only after the government took a series of measures. But, he added, there has been no contact with PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan for the past month.

Ocalan, imprisoned on imrali island off of Istanbul, called on the PKK to convene a conference in the spring months to discuss laying down arms in a message read by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) politician Sirri Sureyya Onder in late February. Onder, part of a HDP delegation allowed to have regular meetings with Ocalan, read out the statement from Ocalan after talks with Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin AkDogan and then Interior Minister Efkan Ala. The conference, however, was conditional upon the implementation of a 10-point blueprint drafted by Ocalan and read by Onder.

The process, however, came to a standstill after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the Istanbul meeting of the HDP politicians and the government officials and opposed the planned creation of a monitoring committee to follow the settlement talks between Ocalan and the state officials. In subsequent statements, Erdogan also dismissed existence of a Kurdish problem and accused those who insist there is a Kurdish issue of “discrimination.”

Hozat said negotiations should have been conducted on the basis of the 10-point blueprint and monitored by the monitoring committee. An agreement that would emerge out of these talks should later have been brought to Parliament, he said.

“The PKK will not have such a conference until the Kurdish issue is resolved,” said Hozat.