PM can solve Kurdish issue, Kurdish MP says
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Kurdish independent lawmaker Zana says PM Erdoğan, has the power to solve the Kurdish issue. ‘Now we should all make him feel that we support him,’ Zana says. AFP photo
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan has the power to solve Turkey’s long-running Kurdish issue, Kurdish politician and independent lawmaker Leyla Zana has said just days after Turkey’s ruling and main opposition parties started dialogue for a solution.
“The person who has the most power can stop this issue. I believe it is the head of the government, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will solve this issue. I haven’t given up my hopes about this. Now we should all make him feel that we support him,” Zana said in an interview with daily Hürriyet printed yesterday.
Zana said she would be willing to meet Erdoğan but added that the prime minister should also meet with others who can contribute to peace.
“They met with some people previously to find a solution but those meetings attained no results. Rather than using words such as ‘The Kurdish initiative,’ they should consider what should be done to avoid more blood,” Zana said.
“The words terror and Kurds should not be used together. This causes everyone to react immediately and say, ‘We are not terrorists,’” Zana said adding that Kurdish identity should be guaranteed under the Constitution and that education in citizens’ mother tongue should be permitted.
Zana also offered light criticism to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), saying they should not only give harsh messages in front of cameras but also connect with everyday people away from the media spotlight.
“They shouldn’t behave differently in front of their own people and behind closed doors,” Zana said.
Zana also said Kurdish politicians within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) might feel Kurdish but do not have the mentality to think like Kurds.
“As people who know the region better, if they inform their party leader better on the issues and strengthen their rhetoric, they would contribute more to the issue,” she said.
Zana also said there were thousands of people who had been arrested for expressing their thoughts.
“The judges do not perform their duties; most of these people haven’t been sentenced but are instead kept in prison. If they apply to the European Court of Human Rights, Turkey will have to pay a huge amount and who will pay for this?,” Zana said, adding that putting the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, under house arrest would change Turkey’s political climate by 80 percent.
The deputy further said the media should cease using bellicose language and adopt a more peaceful tone instead.