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MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > Arınç understands the Kurds better

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It’s not without a reason that I describe Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç as “the voice of the public’s conscience.”

You may disagree with him on various things, but you should give him credit that within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) he touches on such truths from time to time that he is able to surprise both his own party and the opposition.

Over the weekend he pointed to another truth in a program on TV station Kanaltürk. He reminded the audience of the words of Rakel Dink, the wife of the slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, at her husband’s funeral: “We should question the darkness that has created a killer from a child, from a baby.” He pointed out that outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan was a victim of such darkness, saying: “If you deny Kurdishness, there is no solution to this issue.”

He continued his speech as follows: “I used to be very angry at a female deputy [Gülten Kışanak] of the Peace and Democracy Party [BDP]. I imprecated her a lot, but not anymore. I’m not angry now. This is because she was exposed to such immoral torture at Diyarbakır Prison when she was 17 years old that if I were in that position I would also have taken to the mountains [to join the illegal organization]. Half of those who were released from Diyarbakır Prison took to the mountains. If you victimize people, then there will always be those who will try to bring it to account.”

These are such true evaluations.

In 1988 in Bekaa Valley when I first interviewed him, Öcalan said exactly this to me: “Diyarbakır Prison has made the biggest contribution to us. The first recruits for the PKK were formed by those who were tortured there and who then took to the mountains.”

Today there is no torture, but people are still taking to the mountains.

I’m sure there have been many reactions to Arınç’s words from his own party. But, instead of reacting, they would better understand if they stepped back, thought a little and empathized with the Kurds.

Unfortunately, we are again losing time in the Kurdish issue. The problem is becoming more and more inextricable, and it has transformed into a regional problem that is beyond us alone. Other countries are now included in the solution.

The result is a deadlock. The way things are, it looks as if it will become even more of a deadlock.
I wish there were more of us who thought like Arınç…

Football is just a bit of fun
Galatasaray won the derby on Sunday. But oh sir, it was followed by such strong language, one thing after the other.

They included our family, our ancestors…

While everything could be over with a “congratulations,” it was as if it were a crime to be a Galatasaray fan. It was as if beating Fenerbahçe called for a heavy punishment. The moment the game ended, I received such tweets that I was not able to read some of them…

Dear brothers and sisters… Dear friends…

Today, one is the winner, tomorrow, the other will be…

What’s happening to you? Why are you so furious? Football is just a bit of fun. Like eating sunflower seeds.
I cannot understand this ill-temper of Fenerbahçe.

They swear when then win, they also swear when they lose.

December/18/2012

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