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Milliyet - Turkey | Monday, March 2, 2015

Peace process strengthens Kurdish party

The jailed head of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, has called on his supporters to put down their arms and set terms for a peace agreement. The HDP party, which has close ties with the Kurds, announced Öcalan's statement at a joint press conference with the governing AKP on Saturday. This step will help the HDP to enter parliament after this June's elections, the conservative daily Milliyet believes: "Since this weekend the HDP has a new image: as an opposition party that doesn't just complain but also gets results. The best example is the ten negotiation points announced on Saturday, followed by yesterday's statement that the party will seek several changes to the security package. With these moves the HDP has presented itself as a candidate that will not only address the Kurdish question, but will also do its utmost to seek solutions to the democratic problems in this country. ... With a clever election campaign and candidates who break with the party's image in the west of Turkey as a 'Kurdish party', the HDP will be able to clear the ten percent hurdle."

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