KCK official says PKK not responsible for murders of 2 Turkish policemen

KCK official says PKK not responsible for murders of 2 Turkish policemen

A family member of Okan Acar, one of the Turkish soldiers found shot in the head at his home in Şanlıurfa, mourns for the loss of Acar. (Photo: Cihan, Bekir Kuddar)

July 29, 2015, Wednesday/ 15:08:05/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL

A senior member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that includes the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), told the BBC Turkish service on Wednesday that the PKK is not responsible for the execution-style murders of two Turkish police officers who were found shot in the head at their home in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa last week.

The PKK had previously claimed responsibility for the killing of the two officers, saying it was in retaliation for the suicide bombing on July 20 that killed 32 people in Suruç, which has been blamed on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The PKK said in a written statement on one of its websites that the police officers were killed at around 6 a.m. on July 22 in retaliation for the Turkish police's "collaboration with the Daesh [the Arabic term for ISIL] gang."

Demhat Agit, the KCK spokesman for foreign affairs, however, denied the PKK's involvement in the incident. "These are the units independent from the PKK. They are local forces which organized themselves and not affiliated with us. We don't have a problem with claiming responsibility for what we did. When there is an action carried out by the PKK or the HPG [People's Defense Forces], then we can explain and self-criticize if necessary," Agit said.

According to Agit, the PKK is a disciplined movement but it is not possible to have 100 percent control over the entire group. "Now that there is an atmosphere like this, any sort of incident can take place. If the groundwork for conflict is laid, even the simplest incidents might cause big consequences," Agit added.

The KCK senior figure also pointed out that "it is wrong to connect the recent process to the Suruç bombing or the killing of the two police officers," adding that the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) policies led to the escalation of violence. Agit accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of being responsible for ending the settlement process between the PKK and the Turkish government.

"The Dolmabahçe blueprint was about to be agreed on, until Erdoğan made a statement afterwards, saying 'There are no negotiations and there is no Kurdish problem.' After that process, he tried to discredit the HDP [the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party] ahead of the election and instigate a war by launching constant operations on the PKK," Agit's reference was to a plan that was announced in February for the resolution of Turkey's decades-old Kurdish issue, after the government held talks with the HDP at Dolmabahçe Palace.

In response to a question, Agit told the BBC that nine PKK members were killed in the recent air campaign by the Turkish army over the group's bases in northern Iraq. Agit also accused Turkey of supporting ISIL and claimed that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) supported the Turkish air strikes on the PKK.

Noting that the PKK will determine its future stance depending on Turkey's tendencies, Agit said the KCK is "still hopeful for the future of the settlement process, because we do not believe it would be difficult." According to Agit, "The settlement process can be re-started. It is that simple. It is not a very complicated issue." Agit also confirmed that the KCK has differences with the HDP and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

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