Wednesday, 17 December 2008, 11:20 GMT
DTP's visit to Kurdistan Region regarded as positive
By By Kamal Chomani
The Kurdish Globe

Leaders in Kurdistan Region urge DTP to gain rights in peaceful ways.

The pro-Kurdish Society Party (DTP) could gain a better position in the upcoming municipality elections set for March next year. Meanwhile the party is still facing a legal case at a Turkish court that could determine DTP's political future

A delegation from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) from Turkey visited Kurdistan region and had talks with Kurdistan region president, Massoud Barzani, Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani and several other Kurdish officials. The DTP delegation was led by the party's leader, Ahmet Turk. The meeting with the Kurdish president took place last Saturday in Barzani's Salahaddin resort-residence.

"In the meeting, President Barzani and Ahmet Turk emphasized that the problems in the region should be resolved through dialogue," a statement posted on Kurdistan regional government's (KRG) official website read.

Then on Monday, the delegation met Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani. "President Talabani has honored the DTP's struggle to get Kurdish rights in Turkey in a democratic means," said the official website of Talabani's party, Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK).

Meanwhile, the spokesman of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Ahmed Daniz told Kurdish Globe that PKK regards the DTP visit to Kurdistan region as a positive step.

"We are very happy for such visits. Wherever they are, Kurds need to cooperate with each other," said Daniz. "Kurds need to build bridge of dialogue and we want the problems to be solved through channels of communication."

Turk was accompanied by the party's co-leader, Emine Ayna, Istanbul deputy Sabahat Tuncel, Siirt deputy Osman Ozcelil and deputy council member Abdullah Demirbas.

Earlier this year, a DTP delegation led by Ahmed Turk visited Kurdistan region and had talks with Iraqi president and Kurdistan region's parliament speaker, Adnan Mufti, but the delegation failed to meet president Barzani.

DTP currently faces the Turkish Court on charges of being "a focal point of terrorism". If the court wins DTP may be shut down. PKK spokesman, on the other, hand denied any links between his party and DTP.

"DTP is an independent Kurdish party. PKK has no links with it," Daniz told Globe.

Currently, DTP is the only legally operating Kurdish party in Turkey; it has 21 seats in the Turkish parliament. Political observers believe that DTP could gain a better position in the March municipality elections planned for next year.