AKP MP candidate says gov’t in ‘continuous talks’ with jailed PKK leader Öcalan

In response to allegations of the government having sent a delegation to İmralı Island, AKP parliamentarian candidate Galip Ensarioğlu said, “The state is continuously talking with” jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. 

Duvar English

Former Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Galip Ensarioğlu whom the party nominated for deputyship once again, has said that government officials are “continuously talking with” jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Ensarioğlu’s comments came amid allegations of the government having sent a delegation to İmralı Island to talk with Öcalan during the election process.

“The state is continuously talking with Öcalan. When Öcalan wants to make a contribution to the solution, if Öcalan wants to make a contribution to Turkey’s unity and to the end of this armed violence, and if the state believes in this, it (state) would continue such meetings,” he told in an interview to Medyascope on May 4.

Ensarioğlu argued that it was not the state but instead the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that “condemned Öcalan to isolation.” “It is the HDP, Kandil itself that have abolished the conditions of this (solution process)…They are the ones that invalidated and sabotaged the solution process and Öcalan’s role (in the solution process),” he said.

The AKP often accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK which has its main base in Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq.

On April 28, jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told the daily Cumhuriyet that the alleged meeting between the government and Öcalan was also “confirmed by my sources.”

“When they (the rulership) couldn’t get a result in İmralı, they have preferred to increase the oppression against Kurdish on the field and back up (Kurdish Islamist political party) HÜDA-PAR,” Demirtaş said.

On May 2, İYİ (Good) Party chair Meral Akşener similarly confirmed the allegations and said that the government had assigned “someone from the judiciary” for the task, but did not reveal the bureaucrat’s name.