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MEHMET ALİ BİRAND

mab@hurriyet.com.tr

MEHMET ALİ BİRAND > Forget the MHP, you all just go ahead

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[Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu has taken a very important step. He did what was expected of his party. It was a move that had been long-awaited in the search for a solution to Turkey’s historic Kurdish problem. This party, which has paid the most attention to this issue since it first began years ago, may be, for the first time, remembering its responsibilities again. The CHP has actually come to its senses. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as a leader who has his placed signature upon the most significant and courageous decisions related to this issue, did not leave Kılıçdaroğlu’s hand in the air. He swept aside all his suspicions and concerns for the moment. He read the mind of the public well. 

The CHP made this proposal: Come, let’s form a “Social Consensus Commission” in Parliament, among the four parties. Let us, together, search for a solution. Let us also form a “Wise Men Commission” outside the Parliament. 

The AK Party did not run away: Erdoğan, most likely because he correctly guessed what the response of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would be, proposed that in the case that a four-party (AKP, CHP, MHP, and Peace and Democracy party, or BDP) commission could not be formed in Parliament, his party would proceed together with the CHP outside Parliament. 

As a matter of fact, it was the MHP that spoiled the game and put a spoke in the wheel. 

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli immediately withdrew. He said, “Do not count me in.” Actually he was not expected to act differently, because the list of the MHP’s voters list made up of people who are anti-PKK (outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party); that is the base it feeds from. 

Now, a new process has started. 

Most likely the CHP will not be able to convince the MHP, and Erdoğan’s proposal will be taken into consideration. That is, it will be debated whether or not to attempt to search for a solution outside of Parliament, with the AKP, CHP, and BDP. The CHP has reservations about that, but up until now it has not voiced them openly. 

As you can see, the matter goes full circle and ends up at calculations about who will take what steps and who will cooperate with whom and risk how many votes. Each party is watching the other. 

The AK Party is wary of the MHP. The CHP is afraid of being deceived by the AK Party. 

The public, though, has a very significant expectation: an end to terrorism as soon as possible and a solution to the issue. There are two options before Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu: On one hand they could continue their political dance for a little bit longer and then say, “Well, we have done what we can do,” part ways and go on with their fighting, or, when the MHP is not convinced, they could outside the Parliament and, with a working group composed of the AKP, CHP, and BDP, proceed to find solutions. 

The expectation of the public favors the second option. However, the calculations of the politicians do not necessarily coincide with our logic. If they were to take this step for the first time, then they would all make history. Otherwise, there will again be bloodshed, more of our people will die, and billions of our dollars in resources will melt away. 

The choice is in the hands of Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu. 

The interview the prime minister gave the other night on ATV’s A Haber has truly encouraged me. He had a very understanding stance, open to cooperation. 

What do you say; will our dreams come true this time? 

Fear of the specially authorized 

You couldn’t imagine the might of the specially authorized prosecutors and specially authorized courts. They are, as you may know, the continuation of the famous State Security Courts (DGM) of the Sept. 12 era. We closed the DGMs, but we have replaced them with something worse. The justification was: “We cannot fight PKK terrorism otherwise, with regular legislation.” 

The prime minister used such fierce sentences in his TV interview at ATV that it is obvious the end is near for them. People are being held in detention for years while waiting for their indictments. There are completely different rules practiced in the corridors of the specially authorized courts. The prime minister must at last have become troubled by this himself, such that he is signaling that it is time for a change.

June/08/2012

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