ANKARA, Turkey, July 21 (UPI) -- A measure to invite the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party to address the so-called Kurdish question has stoked controversy in Ankara.
Ankara is dealing with growing pressure to find a political solution to Kurdish ambitions in the region. The government had considered lifting some restrictions on pro-Kurdish television broadcasts, facilitating militant reconciliation measures and providing relocation assistance to internally displaced persons.
Decades of military conflict with the PKK have taken a toll on the Turkish military, while the ruling Justice and Development Party suffered a defeat at the hands of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party in March municipal elections.
Ihsan Arslan, a lawmaker from the Kurdish province of Diyarbakir, said Ankara should move swiftly to come up with a solid initiative before jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan releases his own set of proposals in August, Turkish daily Today's Zaman reports.
The PKK, for its part, had offered a series of unilateral cease-fires to allow the political process to take hold.
Arslan, while maintaining he is "just a deputy," also opened the possibility for including Ocalan in the discussions on the Kurdish question.
While the Ocalan proposal and Arslan's considerations have stoked controversy, the provincial leader notes reform should include the top of the PKK structure.