Turkey's main opposition engages in self-criticism on Kurdish peace bid
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu struggled to keeping a man from kissing his hand during his visit to Diyarbakır. Hours before the incident, Prime Minister Davutoğlu had ordered all state officials to stop this tradition, but could not keep another man from kissing his hand.Turkey's main opposition party has engaged in self-criticism on the Kurdish peace bid process.
"We couldn't explain our suggestions to Kurdish people for the solution of the Kurdish problem. We were at fault, not you," the Republican People's Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a party meeting extraordinarily held in the souteastern province of Diyarbakır on Nov. 29.
During the meeting attended by the provincial heads of his party in the region, Kılıçdaroğlu reserved most of his speech to address Kurdish people. "Whatever name it has, there is a problem and it cannot be solved by security means. Didn't enough blood flow for 30 years?" he said.
While admitting his party's "faults," Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), too, accusing them of casting the CHP away from the ongoing peace process. "They say that the CHP is not a pro-peace party. This is the most absurd phrase I have ever heard," he said.
After stressing the economic underdevelopment of Turkey's southeast, the CHP leader also promised to solve the problem of unemployment in Diyarbakır and beyond, if elected.
'Expanded HDP delegation' visits Öcalan
Meanwhile, an expanded HDP delegation visited the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, on Nov. 29. The delegation was originally expected to visit the prison in the island of İmralı on Nov. 30.
The delegation, included the party’s deputy parliamentary group chairs, İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, and its Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, as well as Hatip Dicle, the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress. The delegation did not immediately release a statement following the four-hour meeting with Öcalan.
Öcalan has been in dialogue with state officials, the HDP and its predecessor, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), since at least late 2012, and is playing a central role in the process.
However, the talks have stalled since early October, when street violence claimed dozens of lives in countrywide protests against the government’s perceived inaction over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) assault on the Kurdish-populated town of Kobane in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.