Responding to reporters’ questions after a parliamentary group meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Tuesday, Erdoğan made it clear that such a move is not on his party’s agenda.
During his speech in Diyarbakır, Erdoğan signaled that if Kurds stand behind the settlement process, Turkey could release Kurdish prisoners and that those who joined the PKK would come down from the mountains.
“I was talking about my dreams. General amnesty is certainly not on our agenda,” he said.
General amnesty is a very sensitive issue in Turkey and many are against the idea of letting convicted terrorists go free. There is also a host of legal and judicial problems with such a move.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said after a Monday Cabinet meeting that the AK Party has no plans for a general amnesty.
“We’ll see the days when people leave the mountains and the prisons are emptied,” Erdoğan said on Saturday, a remark many interpreted as a possible move toward amnesty.
Erdoğan’s AK Party launched the settlement process last year to resolve the country’s terrorism problem and has been holding talks with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the terrorist PKK, since then.
The release of individuals currently imprisoned in cases related to the PKK and the terrorist Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) has been one of the major demands of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which is affiliated with the PKK. see more