Posted on September 22, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Politics, Politics
Kurdish HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas (L) meet with Massoud Barzani. Photo: KRG
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— The Co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas meet with Massoud Barzani in Iraqi Kurdistan capital city of Erbil, the Region’s Presidency (KRP) reported.
The HDP delegation consisted of former Diyarbakir mayor Osman Baydemir and members of the Grand National Assembly, according to a statement from the KRP official website.
Barzani said during the meeting the rights of Kurds can be achieved through a resumption of the peace process in Turkey and added the Kurdistan Region has consistently encouraged both Turkish and Kurdish political groups to reconcile their differing views.
Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population. A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels.
“It is only through peaceful means that the Kurds of Turkey can further obtain their cultural and political rights,” Barzani said as cited by the KRP.
Demirtas and Barzani were in agreement that the fight for the rights of Kurds could be achieved “politically and inside the parliament building in Ankara.”
Both sides stressed the achievement of a political settlement must not be at the “expense of the lives of Kurds and Turks,” the KRP added.
Demirtas said the Kurdish nation has suffered tremendously for the last 100 years at the hands of their respective countries, he said in a press conference following the meeting. But he warned that the Kurdish nation cannot place all the blame on their enemies alone.
“We should criticize ourselves, too,” he said while complaining about the lack of unity between Kurdish parties in all four parts of Kurdistan, referring to the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq, East Kurdistan or Rojhelat in Iran, West Kurdistan or Rojava in Syria, and North Kurdistan in Turkey.
Demirtas also said that his party does not represent only Kurds, but maintained that they would work to achieve the “full rights” of the Kurdish people.
“They also spoke of the situation in Syrian Kurdistan, expressing their hopes for a brighter future for the people of Rojava,” the KRP reported.
Efforts taken by the Kurdistan Region to defeat Islamic State (IS) were also discussed.
Demirtas’ visit will last for four days. He will discuss the situation in the Kurdistan Region and other parts of Greater Kurdistan and the area with KRG officials and political parties.
Demirtas told reporters he would he would visit Sulaimani the next day to meet with other parties