May 20 2018

Erdoğan reprimands chief advisor for statement on Kurdish peace talks -columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reprimanded one of his chief advisors over recent comments he made on television that the failed Kurdish peace talks would resume following the June 24 elections, according to a columnist with far-right wing oppositional daily Yeniçağ.

Erdoğan initiated a process of talks between Turkey’s intelligence service and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - an armed group which has fought a separatist war in Turkey’s southeast since the early 1980s -  leadership in 2009. The talks, dubbed the ‘peace process,’ failed in July 2015 as relations between the two sides came under pressure due to the Syrian conflict as well as domestic politics. Hundreds of civilian deaths, forced migrations and the demolition of town centres in southeast Turkey followed in the aftermath of the failed talks.

Ahmet Takan, in his column on Sunday, noted that Erdoğan called İlnur Çevik after becoming furious over his statement on pro-government Habertürk television over the weekend that the Kurdish peace process could resume following the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Çevik, when asked on the same program about whether the presidential candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in pre-trial detention for 18 months, should remain behind bars, said that he should. It was after this comment that Çevik said the Kurdish peace talks could resume following the snap elections.

Çevik is one of Turkish President Erdoğan's 36 advisors.