Kurdish peace bid only a start, Turkish PM Erdoğan says in Van
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a mass opening ceremony in the eastern province of Van, Oct. 26. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took advantage of his visit today to the eastern province of Van to express the government’s determination to advance the ongoing Kurdish peace process, noting that the present bid was only the beginning of bigger things to come.
“Thirty years of pain are ending. This is only a start. It is only a stage of the process,” Erdoğan said despite heavy criticism directed toward the government, especially by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), for the insufficient democratization push.
Erdoğan, meanwhile, also expressed criticism, saying there were circles, which he called the “war lobby,” unwilling for peace to be achieved.
“There is a war lobby, a blood lobby which is disturbed by the spring. There is a lobby which misses the darkness and whose eyes are blinded by the light. A lobby disturbed that our kids and youth are surviving and misses their blood,” Erdoğan told a crowd during a mass opening ceremony.
“There is a lobby which feeds itself by terror and used to design society as politics. We won’t give this lobby any opportunity [to achieve their aims],” he said.
Erdoğan also said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stood equally against both political Turkish nationalism and political Kurdish nationalism. “Both are our enemies,” Erdoğan said.
BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş slammed the government earlier today for pursuing a policy based on a “Turkish Sunni Islamic male” identity. “The government’s line on Turkishness is blocking the talks [on the Kurdish peace process],” Demirtaş said.
Erdoğan assured that the government remained committed to solve the Kurdish once in for all.
“We have [put all hands on deck] for the resolution process. We want to spring to be lasting,” Erdoğan said.
With Erdoğan’s visit, the eastern province which is still attempting to heal its wounds from a deadly earthquake on Oct. 23, 2011, has become a metropolitan municipality.
Erdoğan defended the government’s action after the earthquake, saying over 18,000 housing units were constructed by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ).
He also vowed more investments in the coming years, including a shipbuilding yard on Van Lake, the biggest of Turkey, which locals call the “Van Sea.”