Demirtas Calls on Ankara And PKK to Return to Peace Talks

dddSelahattin Demirtaş has called on Turkey to renew its commitment to democratic values and has urged the PKK and the government in Ankara to renew peace talks.

Demirtaş made the comments addressing a rally in Istanbul Saturday afternoon. The rally, organized by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of which he is co-chair, had the theme “No to coups. Democracy now.”

“Let us put aside anger, hatred, and polarization,” he said, condemning the coup. “Society now wants peace.”

“Today, we need to embrace our principles of human rights, which are the principles of democracy,” he said, adding that strong arm tactics will only “trigger unrest in society and polarization,” and this cannot be the way to fight against a coup.

Addressing both the government in Ankara and the PKK, Demirtaş said, “We need to create the opportunity for a return to democracy. That is difficult. But we are aware of the challenges and it is the duty of democratic forces to overcome the difficulties by negotiation.”

“I think from now it is not the right thing to continue as if nothing has happened,” he said.

He urged Ankara to end the ban on visits to imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, saying that allowing his family and lawyers to visit would “open the way for many other things.”