Possible to discuss house arrest for PKK leader, Turkish deputy PM says

June 15, 2012, Friday/ 00:04:00

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has speculated about a possibility of discussing house arrest for the jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as part of a road map to end the terrorism. 

“This is not an isolated subject to discuss,” Arınç told aHaber TV in an interview on Friday, when asked about his comments on the suggestion of Leyla Zana, independent pro-Kurdish deputy.

Zana, the deputy from Diyarbakır, made rare statements in an interview with the Hürriyet daily on Thursday in which she said she believes Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will solve the Kurdish issue. She also spoke about the house arrest for jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Arınç said the issue could be discussed as part of a road map to end the terrorism and said that it could be discussed only in the case the PKK lays down its arms.

Arınç dismissed discussing the house arrest for Öcalan today, adding that the PKK leader “currently continues to live his routine life” in İmralı island nearby İstanbul.

Arınç noted that if the authorities decide to put Öcalan under the house arrest, the PKK will not end the violence.

Arınç recalled previous calls by Erdoğan and Iraqi Kurdish leaders on the PKK to lay down the arms without preconditions for a peaceful settlements of the Kurdish issue.

He downplayed the demand for the house arrest, arguing that the pro-Kurdish politicians will consume it in politics.

Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Ufuk Uras told Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin last year that Öcalan, who has been serving a life sentence for more than 10 years, be placed under house arrest.

Uras told Ergin that Öcalan could be kept under house arrest in a specially designated area. Ergin replied that current laws in Turkey do not allow granting house arrest status for Öcalan.

Turkish President Abdullah Gül also earlier dismissed the possibility of Öcalan’s being placed under house arrest, saying that Öcalan is serving his sentence. “There are certain court decisions regarding him and he is serving his sentence,” he added.

 

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