Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik on Saturday said people who want to revive peace negotiations between the Turkish government and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were using “the rhetoric of a terrorist organization.”
Çelik’s statement was in response to pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Pervin Buldan’s call on the government to revive peace negotiations that were halted in 2015 after a two-year ceasefire.
Buldan said the negotiations should also include the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who has been in prison since 1999.
The previous negotiations were terminated by the government after the HDP garnered more than 10 percent of the vote in a general election on June 7, 2015, causing the AKP to lose its majority in parliament.
AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then formed an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) instead of the HDP, a move that led to a more aggressive and militaristic approach to the Kurdish question revolving around the PKK insurgency, which has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the last three decades.
While the AKP and MHP have ended their alliance for local elections in March, rumors had surfaced suggesting that Erdoğan wanted to revive peace negotiations with the PKK in order to secure the support of Turkey’s Kurds.
“The government wants to prolong its time in power by turning the whole society into potential suspects and hindering every step to bring peace,” HDP Co-chair Sezai Temelli said on Sunday in response to the AKP’s Çelik.