Turkish PM Erdoğan, Zana to meet to discuss Kurdish issue
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and independent Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana (C) will meet on June 30 at 3:00 pm, to discuss the Kurdish issue. AA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet independent Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana on June 30 to discuss the Kurdish issue, two days after the National Security Council (MGK) said terrorism would not hold back commonsense efforts to solve the Kurdish question.
“Terror activities will not be able to sabotage commonsense steps that will be taken to establish social peace and resolve the [Kurdish] question,” the MGK said in a declaration issued after a June 28 meeting.
Zana, a symbolic figure in the Kurdish movement and an independent deputy from Diyarbakır, said in an interview with daily Hürriyet on June 14 that Erdoğan could solve the Kurdish issue and that she had never lost her hopes that he would do so. She requested a meeting with Erdoğan after her remarks were welcomed by high-ranking officials from the ruling party.
Zana was elected as a deputy in the 2012 elections from the bloc backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), but she cannot become a party member until 2014 because of a political ban against her. In 2009 the Constitutional Court banned the BDP’s predecessor, the Democratic Society Party (DTP), and the party’s founders, including Zana, from participating in politics for five years.
The BDP was cool to Zana’s remarks, with party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş saying it was naïve to hope the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would be able to solve the Kurdish issue. He later said it was pointless to expect an intraparty argument with the BDP, praising Zana as “invaluable.”
Zana’s meeting with Erdoğan has nevertheless raised eyebrows within the BDP. Demirtaş said the prospective meeting was not with party consent, while one anonymous party senior said, “She had said ‘Weapons are insurance for Kurds’ [in January], and now she sings Erdoğan’s praises, what has changed within a couple of months?”
Alluding to Zana’s remarks, Erdoğan speculated that there could be a breakup within the BDP, but the party played down Erdoğan’s speculation as “wishful thinking.”