Veteran Kurdish politician says Erdoğan ended peace process

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Turkey's then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L) and then-Pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Türk pose during a meeting at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara August 5, 2009. AFP PHOTO

Ahmet Türk, a veteran Kurdish politician who was recently released from prison due to health problems, said it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who ended the reconciliation process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) when he failed to obtain the desired results in the June 7, 2015 elections.

In an interview with the Habertürk daily published on Sunday, Türk said that “it is known that it was the president who aborted the process after the June 7 elections.” In those elections, Erdoğan’s former party was unable to garner the required majority in Parliament to form a single party government. In the repeat elections of Nov. 1, 2015 after a surge of violence in the country, Erdoğan’s party came to power as a single party government once again.

Türk, who has been the target of a crackdown against Kurds that has been going on for decades, was also critical of the PKK. He said that despite Erdoğan’s willingness to end the reconciliation process, if it was up to him, he would have waited patiently for all clues to manifest themselves before taking action. “Immediate action in the post-June 7 process was a mistake for the Kurds,” the veteran Kurdish politician pointed out. Türk said the end result has been a cycle of violence.

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts have continued arresting pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies including the party’s co-chairs.

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