Turkish deputy PM dismisses military means to solve Kurdish issue

2013-02-04 13:23:08 GMT2013-02-04 21:23:08(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ANKARA, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Monday that military means will not solve the Kurdish issue.

"If these things were to be solved by guns, killings and bombings, then they would already be solved in early 1990s," Arinc told a press conference in Manisa province in western Turkey.

The Turkish government has been doing whatever it takes to end the decades-old conflict, Arinc was quoted as saying by the local newspaper Today's Zaman.

If those means had worked, the problem would have been solved just after the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in 1999, Arinc said.

He criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party and Nationalist Movement Party for being "stuck in time tunnel" by means of resolving Kurdish issue, referring to their cold feet in new "peace process" launched by the Turkish government.

The Turkish government resumed talks with Ocalan in January as part of a recent "peace process" to end the three-decade-long conflict with the PKK. But Nationalist opposition politicians of the country object any talks with Ocalan.

"Our government is not in the (peace) process at the moment, because launching such a process is linked to a road map under the conditions of Turkey. We, as the government, cannot call on Ocalan and sit at a table to negotiate with him. We have been using our national intelligence service during this process," Arinc said.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, more than 35,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

Add Comment
Please read our Terms of Service. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have spam, commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.