ANKARA – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has rejected the possibility of involving international observers in peace negotiations to resolve the conflict with the country’s Kurdish guerrillas, according to local press reports on Wednesday.
“A foreign look, a third eye, is discarded. The process of peace is a natural consequence of the development of democratization,” Davutoglu told journalists, noting that the government had already tried foreign mediation in Norway and it ended badly.
In 2011, secret negotiations between the Turkish intelligence services and the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Oslo were leaked to the public and then suspended.
The current peace process started more than a year ago and has been on the verge of failing in recent months due to the increased tension and clashes between the PKK and the security forces, although PKK leaders wish to continue the talks.
The Kurds have always insisted on the involvement of international mediators in the peace process aimed at ending decades of conflict in which tens of thousands have died.
Former Finnish prime minister Martti Ahtisaari told the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet that years ago jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan proposed his name to head a committee of scholars to oversee the peace process, but he rejected the offer due to Turkey’s doubts.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner told the paper that very often governments do not want any outsiders involved or do not want to internationalize the issue.