Meeting Terms With PKK’s Jailed Leader Öcalan Change

yalçın-akdoğan-670The parties involved in the Kurdish peace bid have jointly declared that a new phase in the process has begun, as committees under the guidance of the Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security will meet with the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, while the İmralı delegation of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will also join the meetings.

HDP’s İmralı delegation, consisting of HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, HDP deputy parliamentary group chairs Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Hatip Dicle, will be able to enter the meetings conducted with Öcalan on the İmralı Island together with the Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security committees.

İmralı is a byword for Öcalan, who is serving a life-sentence on the İmralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea.

Until today, Öcalan would first meet with Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency’s (MİT) head Hakan Fidan and his deputies alone on the İmralı Island; the HDP’s İmralı delegation would meet Öcalan later.

Both the government and the HDP simultaneously announced Dec. 22 that the stalled peace process has entered “a new phase,” with the latter emphasizing that the jailed leader of the PKK will assume a more central role in the new phase of talks.

“The process is continuing through a strong political will and determination. The meetings, based on confidence and goodwill, have accelerated in order to reach a final result,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said in a message posted on his Twitter account Dec. 22 following a meeting with a delegation from the HDP.

Öcalan has been in dialogue with state officials, the HDP and its predecessor, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), since at least late 2012, and is already.