Turkey woke up Tuesday with news from Hakkari that separatist terrorists had attacked a military outpost, killing and wounding scores of soldiers. The attacks were neither the first nor will they be the last, unless Turkey finds a magical way to “silence the guns.”
Talking on these issues, Osman Faruk Loğoğlu, a legendary diplomat who is now serving as the deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said recently: “The demand of the nation for an end to violence has reached a very high level. Now, families of the fallen soldiers are demanding an end to violence. ‘Finish this thing off; enough with the fathers and mothers crying for their sons’ they are saying. The CHP
has acted on such calls … This is not a government problem alone. There is a need for a national consensus on how to deal with this problem. Our proposal is not one offering resolution ideas; rather, we suggested a roadmap. We need to have all the parties in Parliament engaged in this process…”
The CHP’s proposal, which has received support from the government but so far a cold shoulder from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on the grounds that it resembles ideas of imprisoned terrorist chieftain Abdullah Öcalan, urges the creation of two committees. One would be a parliamentary commission composed of two members from each party, while the other would be a commission of three “wise men” from each parliamentary party. The idea is to engage as many sections of society as possible to search for a way to resolve the problem and thus try to resolve it through a national consensus. That is indeed the key phrase: approaching the problem through national consensus…
The MHP has been stressing that the wise men’s commission was first suggested by Öcalan, and that the nationalist party would never accept becoming part of a mechanism to implement the dictates of the separatist chieftain. However, while the name of the commission might have been changed, does Öcalan have the sole intellectual property rights on such a commission? Is it not a farce to demand an end to bloodshed but to stay out of a process aimed at ending bloodshed because something was first described by terrorists? Loğoğlu is hopeful. “The MHP says its doors are closed, I say ‘they are closed but not locked.’ They say they won’t even drink tea with us, I say ‘we would welcome having a glass of water.’ The MHP is one of the main political schools of this country, for success it must also be engaged.”
Loğoğlu stressed in sincerity how seriously the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had tried to go to the root causes of separatist terrorism, but had so far failed. “This government, as well as the preceding ones, took many steps to resolve this problem, and no other government went down to the root of the problem as much as this government. Yet, there has been no success. Why? Because this is not just a matter of the government. Developing a national consensus on how to deal with it is a must. This matter has to be handled by the Parliament, with an inclusive approach. That’s what we have suggested.”
When this article was being penned, wires were reporting that at least eight sons had fallen in the east. How many more sons should fall to convince the MHP that this is the time to engage in resolution, not in antagonism and rhetoric!