March 11, 2013 - 16:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has said the Kurdish conflict will be solved in two years at most if parties involved in the process aimed at ending the conflict are really sincere.
“It is not quite possible to give an exact date as to when such processes will be concluded, but a two-year period is more than enough for the peace process if the involved parties are sincere and honest. We don't need so much time as we have had so much experience regarding the issue,” Atalay said in an interview published by the Bugün daily on Monday, March 11, according to Today’s Zaman.
Turkish state authorities have been holding peace talks with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan since last October, with the aim of achieving a timetable for the disarmament of PKK rebels. Three Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies also traveled to İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara on Feb 23 to meet with the PKK leader as part of the talks.
“Hopes and expectations are high in the [peace] process. We have found the same support and hope in Diyarbakır [a Kurdish-populated southeastern province] and in İzmir [a western Turkish province],” the deputy PM said.
Asked whether the government has been informed of a rumored decision by the PKK to declare a ceasefire before March 21, the day of the Nevruz spring festival, Atalay said: “These reports had widespread media coverage. But we are avoiding making predictions about the future of the process as we are at the very beginning. I prefer to be cautious, but hopeful.”
“We have taken the necessary lessons from the past. We are taking steps more cautiously, remembering what happened in the past. We are speaking less and working more on strategies. We avoid speaking on details as much as possible,” he stated.