ANKARA - Joost Lagendijk, co-president of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, said on Thursday that ``Kurdish people in Turkey should tell the PKK to stop this old fashioned tactics``.

In an exclusive interview with the A.A, Lagendijk said that he would go to the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Saturday to attend a meeting on ``Civil Rights in the Southeast``.

``My message --if I go to Diyarbakir-- will be to call upon the Kurds, not to give in to these hard-line tactics, because they are making a serious mistake and they will lead Kurds nowhere; they will only provide --for those on the Turkish side-- excuses to not be able to implement further reforms, because there is need for further reforms. I totally agree on that,`` he said.

Lagendijk noted, ``I would like, Kurdish leaders, Kurdish intellectuals, Kurdish people to stand up to the PKK and say, `Come on guys, stop with this old fashioned tactics because it will not lead us anywhere`. That will be my main message and I hope my message comes across because if it continues like this we will not see the reforms because the reformers, the people who want to look for a solution on both sides will be silenced.``

``I think that there is historic opportunity for the Kurds to get what they always wanted, that is cultural rights and socio-economic development of the region. For two things, I think AK party is in a better position than previous governments to understand what is going on and to come up with a solution. And secondly because there is this European accession process which, in a way, will make it necessary for any government to find a solution to the problem. So for these two reasons there should be a clear sign from the Kurdish side as well that they have ended the tactics of the past which included violence and that they understand that the only way forward is non-violent. That is the only way also to enable reformers inside Turkey to progress with the reforms. What we are now seeing is that the hard-liners on both sides have the lead. I don`t want hard-liners to have the lead because it will mean no solution, it will mean on-going spiral of violence,`` he said.

``For instance on TV stations I think it would be very clever of the Turkish government, the Turkish authorities to allow more home-based TV stations to flourish instead of only 45 minutes a day. So, these are all things that need to happen, but they will only happen if there is an end to the violence,`` he stressed.

Noting that there were already declarations announced last year by Kurdish and Turkish intellectuals calling for a stop to violence without any conditions, Lagendijk said, ``but I would also like to see some Kurdish political leaders take that decision. But we need those courageous leaders in the way to break with the past and to look for the future. So what I think from Europe we can do is to stimulate to support those people inside the Kurdish community who know the only solution is non-violent. At the end of the day, it is the Kurds who decide for themselves which direction they want to take. But I think it is up to us to make it clear that according to us there is only one way and that is the non-violent one.``


When asked, ``some believe in Turkey that PKK is supported by the EU or the United States, and that even the whole EU process is designed to divide Turkey into smaller units. What do you say to those?`` Lagendijk said, ``in the beginning when I heard these claims I thought how on earth they could think that this is a plan of our strategy behind. Then also when I learned a lot about Turkish history, I know that this is a deeply embedded fear going back to the past, the end of the Ottoman empire, the beginning of the republic etc. So in a way I understand why these fears are there but they are totally without any ground. I mean speak to any MEP in favor or against Turkey`s accession, in favor or against Kurdish rights, he will say that we want Turkey as it is now. We don`t want to divide the country. We want it as it is, within these present frontiers, to enter the Union.``

Lagendijk kept on saying, ``if you listen to a lot of Kurds in Turkey, they understand that their future is a better future, for them and for their children, if Turkey is a part of the EU. The only thing they are saying is that give us more rights, cultural rights and develop our region. I am deeply convinced that if that happens, the large majority of Kurds living in Turkey will see the benefits of Turkey`s accession and that is what we have been seeing over the last couple of years. They want to belong to a prosperous Turkey. I think there is no European interest at all to split up Turkey and also I think there is no Kurdish interest in splitting up Turkey and going for a sort of land-locked country that will not bring them any socio-economic development or whatsoever.``

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