Demirtas discloses crucial details about the ending of "peace process"
Imprisoned former co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) disclosed on Thursday some critical information on the background of the failure of the dialogue between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in 2015.
Referring to the dismissal of a document known as "Dolmabahce consensus" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Selahattin Demirtas said during the latest hearing session of the Kobani trial:
"They claimed after the election on 7 June, 'None of these would happen if HDP had accepted to take part in a coalition, and if [Demirtas] had not said [to Erdogan], we will not let you become a president.' Well, Erdogan announced on 3 April 2015 that he rejects the 'Dolmabahce Consensus.' (...) He was informed about everything, even the seating order in Dolmabahce. So what's the meaning of saying, 'Resolution process is over.' What's behind the discord?"
Noting that they tried to meet with Erdogan 12 times to resume the resolution process and that they were rejected by him each time, he continued:
"After the election on 7 June, [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu visited us for a meeting. We told him that we are ready to take part in a coalition government, and that we can also provide support for a coalition without us, namely a coalition with CHP [main opposition Republican People's Party]. In those days, we sent Celal Dogan to meet with Erdogan to try to resume the resolution process, because they had a friendship going a long way back (...) When Celal Dogan was back from the meeting, we sat in my room in the parliament. He told us that Erdogan said he didn't want to hear about any 'resolution' and 'process,' and that he started cursing at me."
Demirtas also said that while imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had a central role in the talks between the Erdogan administration and PKK, and as the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan frequently visited Imrali island where Ocalan was incarcerated, Fidan wanted to meet with him, and he rejected.
"That meant replacing Ocalan with me," Demirtas said. "They tried to make a litte Ocalan out of me. We are who we are, and Ocalan is who he is. Ocalan is capable of an influence on the entire Middle East, and we are the actors of a solution in the parliament."
"While PKK is designated a 'terrorist group' by Ankara, we, as the elected representatives of the people, have been received with no greater respect than we did in Qandil and Imrali (...) We have never taken instructions from PKK. We haven't taken instructions from the state either. We take instructions only from the people."
About the "resolution process"
The "resolution process," also referred to as the "peace process" was a process of dialogue that aimed to resolve the armed conflict between Ankara and PKK. It began with a truce in 2013, which continued even beyond the rejection of the Dolmabahce Consensus by Turkish President Erdogan. The Dolmabahce Consensus was declared by a joint commission of HDP and government officials.on 28 February 2015, and it constituted the peak of the talks. The truce ended when two police officers were killed on 22 July 2015 by unidentified assailants in Turkey's Kurdish-majority city of Ceylanpinar. Although the attack was first claimed by the armed wing of the PKK, that was swiftly countered by top PKK officials who denied any involvement. The incident still remains unsolved