Turkish government highlights security before peace bid meet
The Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), a main stakeholder in the bid, has underlined the necessity of taking “mutual and simultaneous steps.” AA PhotoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has vowed that it will not endanger public security for the sake of a peace process to end the three-decade-old conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey’s security forces.
At the same time, the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), a main stakeholder in the bid, has underlined the necessity of taking “mutual and simultaneous steps.”
“We will never make concessions on public order, while carrying out this resolution process. We will make it happen by maintaining public order. In other words; it will not be in the form of ‘either this, or that.’ It will be in the form of ‘Both this and that,’” Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Nov. 16.
“Both our nation’s life and property security will be guaranteed and this problem will be resolved and no longer be a ‘hobble’ for Turkey,” Ala said, as he was speaking at a county-level congress of the AKP held in the southeastern Anatolian province of Gaziantep, where he voiced the government’s resolve to complete the peace process.
A day before, speaking at a county-level congress of the AKP in Ankara on Nov. 15, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan stressed how his government approached Kurdish citizens without discrimination and offered public services.
“Protecting the rights of each and every citizen of ours and dignifying them is a duty and a debt of honor for us, and we will fulfill it. Both the resolution process will go on and we will never make concessions on public security and order,” said Akdoğan, who will represent the government at today’s meeting with the HDP.
There has been a stalemate in the peace process, which the government prefers calling the resolution process, particularly since the beginning of the battle for the Syrian border town of Kobane.
HDP deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan, speaking to Doğan News Agency (DHA) in Diyarbakır on Nov. 16, said their meeting with Akdoğan would officially reopen dialogue channels.
Buldan noted that she expected the meeting to yield an exact date for their parliamentary delegation’s visit to the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, which she said was likely to be set for either Nov. 22 or 23.
Öcalan, serving a life sentence on İmralı island in the Sea of Marmara, has been in dialogue with both state officials and 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, due to the recent tension, no parliamentary delegation has been able to visit Öcalan since Oct. 22.
At today’s meeting with Akdoğan, Buldan will be accompanied by the HDP’s other deputy parliamentary chair, İdris Baluken, and HDP Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder. All three lawmakers are frequent visitors to Öcalan as part of the process.
“There is a demand for steps to be taken mutually,” Buldan said when reminded of comments arguing that Öcalan could make a call for disarmament by March 2015 if a consensus is reached in the Kurdish peace process with the state.
“Both the government and the movement should simultaneously take steps, synchronically. This process will develop with these mutual steps,” Buldan said, emphasizing that such a call from Öcalan would depend upon those steps.