The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, said late Tuesday that dialogue was a must for peace in the country and for an end to the bloodshed, but stated the prime minister would decide whether or not he wanted to meet.

"We want to contribute to peace and dialogue. What we want is to sit and talk and to find a common ground. We are not eager for a meeting otherwise," Ahmet Türk told reporters at a reception at the British Embassy in Ankara. He said that the media created the impression that the DTP was keenly asking for another appointment from the prime minister and that the prime minister was avoiding meeting him.

"We believe that there is a need for dialogue for the future of this country, for peace and for an end to this bloodshed. It is up to Mr. Prime Minister. If he wants to meet, we meet," Türk said in response to repeated questions.

Most recently, Turkey’s new Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu met with the DTP leader as part of a courtesy visit to political parties represented in Parliament. "If there is really willingness for democratization in this country and for a solution to problems through democratic means, politicians need to come together from time to time and discuss the problem. We are always open to this," said Türk.

Asked about the court case facing five members of the DTP including himself, he said he postponed a planned visit to Austria upon claims that he was escaping a trial.

"I was actually supposed to travel to Austria for some meetings but there were attempts in the press to make it look as if I was escaping a hearing. Therefore, I cancelled the trip and I am in Turkey," Turk told reporters.

September deadline

An Ankara court gave Parliament until the end of September to prevent the potential eruption of a crisis over the possible police escort of the DTP deputies from Parliament in order to testify. DTP leader Turk and deputies Emine Ayna, Fatma Kurtalan, Sabahat Tuncel, Aysel Tugluk and Selahattin DemirtaÅŸ received official notices requiring them to testify due to their alleged involvement in spreading terror propaganda.

When asked he had any fears, Turk said: "There is no reason to be scared. We are doing what we believe."

Thanks to the courts common sense, a potential crisis over the pro-Kurdish deputies rejection to give depositions has been averted, the Parliament Speaker said yesterday.

"It’s not right to expect everything from the Parliament and its speaker. If everyone moves responsibly, Turkey will easily overcome these sorts of discussions," Köksal Toptan told reporters yesterday.