Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) spokesman Zawahiri has condemned the killing of a Turkish horse trainer who was shot dead by security forces, saying “we have a good relationship with Turkey”.
Zawahri made the comments as Turkish security forces raided the home of the PKK’s chief of staff, Hakan Fidan, in the northern city of Gaziantep on Saturday, according to Turkish media reports.
“We are in a good, friendly relationship with the Turkish authorities.
The PKK and the Turkish army are allies and we have a long-term relationship,” Zawhiri said at a press conference, according a translation by the AFP news agency.”
I hope that the Turkish government will act as an intermediary in solving the Kurdish issue.
We are not going to allow the killing to take place,” he added.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking to reporters in Istanbul, called on the PKK to stop using horse-riding to “spread terror”.
“We have the responsibility of the people who want peace and freedom,” Davutu said.
Turkey, which has been battling the PKK since 1984, says the group is a terrorist organisation and has detained or arrested hundreds of suspected members.
The PKK has also carried out several deadly attacks in Turkey since 2014, including an attack on a police station in Ankara, a suicide bombing in the city of Suruc, a bomb blast on a railway line in the eastern city of Diyarbakir, and a bombing at a military base in the southeastern town of Diynak.
The group has waged a two-decade insurgency in Turkey, which is predominantly Kurdish, seeking to carve an independent state on the disputed territory.