PN Member Joost Lagendijk Assesses Process to Solution of Kurdish Issue

Men sitting in the late afternoon sun in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey.

European Parliament's former member and EU -Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission's former co-chair Joost Lagendijk has said, the EU was following Turkey's solution process very closely.

Lagendijk assessed the process of solution to Kurdish issue to the Anadolu Agency in Akcakoca where Turkey-Australia Dialogue Meeting is taking place.

Turkey-Australia Dialogue Meeting which was organized by Abant Platform in association with the La Trobe University and the Australian Intercultural Society has kicked off in Turkey's Black Sea town of Akcakoca on Monday.

Lagendijk told Anadolu Agency at the event that Turkey had suffered from the Kurdish issue and PKK terrorist organization over the years and added, EU countries were looking over the solution process very positively.

"Europeans are very hopeful over solving the PKK and Kurdish problem. When we have a look at all the EU reports, there are articles which say ' Turkey needs to solve the Kurdish issue'. This was the thing that was always expressed. Now,Turkey is achieving it and if it solves it, there would not be any problems on its way to join the EU."

Lagendijk said that Turkey launched the solution process recently because of Syria situation and he claimed that like in Iraq, a Kurdish formation was expected in Syria too.

Former EP member Lagendijk underlined that Turkey's being surrounded by Kurdish formation became a matter of question and added, "That is why, it is very logical for Turkey to start the solution process. It was something that Turkey had to do it. There was a pressure from external factors."

Lagendijk said, if Turkey solved the Kurdish issue, they could cope with the likely Kurdish formation in Syria much easily. "Like they do in Iraq's Kurdish region now, Turkey is a country to cope with such a thing. But, at the same time, Turkey will have good relations with Iraq, future Syria and Kurds there," said Lagendijk.

Furthermore, Australian Ambassador in Ankara Ian Biggs touched on Turkey's solution process as well and told Anadolu Agency, "Maybe, we cannot be too helpful, yet a successful lapse of this period would make us very happy."

Biggs who also attended the dialogue meeting stated, collaboration of Turkey and Australia was their main aim.

Biggs highlighted that friendship between Turkey and Australia was more than 100 years old and added, in their meetings they sought to surface common points of two countries.

The Australian ambassador said, interstate relations of both countries were very close and successful and added, "For example, we both send aid to Afghanistan. We both provide security with UNSC. We are both in G-20 countries. Cooperation between our two countries is developed in tourism too. Around 150 thousand Australians visit Turkey a year."

Speaking to the members of the press after the meeting which was held closed to media news, Mustafa Yesil, chairman of Turkey Journalists and Writers Foundation, said, as a foundation, they hosted up to 6 thousand foreign guests annually and academics, politicians, men of religion and artists from 150 countries attend their meetings.

Dialogue meetings aim to lay foundations of a relationship between scholars, policy-makers, and opinion leaders in both countries concerned with the future directions of these societies and moreover, Turkey-Australia Dialogue Meeting on Monday assessed security topics in the Middle East, points of conflicts and Turkey's position in the region.


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Photo by CharlesFred.

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