Turkish PM says Kobane offers two paths: Peace or pain
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu addresses the 'Wise Persons Group.' AA PhotoThere are two paths standing in front of Turkey’s region – the integration of people or painful clashes – Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Oct. 19 during a meeting with prominent figures, the so-called Wise Persons Group, to aid the Kurdish peace process.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed the meeting, telling press members that “it is beneficial that the government is continuing these processes by integrating it with the representatives of the people.” The Wise Persons initiative was launched by Erdoğan during his prime ministry, with the team visiting different regions of the country to convince the public about the merits of the resolution process.
“Recent incidents have shown that it is not possible to separate Tel Abyad from Akçakale, Suruç from Kobane, Nusaybin from Qamishli and Yayladağ from Bayırbucak,” Davutoğlu said during the meeting.
Clashes claimed at least 35 lives last week across Turkey during protests for Kobane, the Syrian border town that has been under siege by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants for around one month. Suruç is the Turkish border town right across Kobane.
“This is also the same for the Balkans and Caucasus – these border lines will become meaningless and all the societies that are kin to each other will merge the pains from the conflicts,” he said.
“There are two alternatives; we will either choose a peaceful and uniting attitude in this region that is based on mutual respect, or we will remain under the effect of terror or radical groups,” he added.
The meeting came at a time when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has expressed its confidence, heralding optimistic discussions ahead of anticipated advancements in the stalled process.
“Our government’s resolve and sincerity about the resolution process is continuing in the same way. The roadmap has been drafted to a great extent,” AKP Deputy Head Beşir Atalay, also the spokesperson for the government, said at a press conference on Oct. 16.
The process has three characteristics, according to Prime Minister Davutoğlu. “The resolution process is national, local and authentic,” he said while addressing the group.
Actress Lale Mansur; unionist Erol Ekici; academics Baskın Oran and Murat Belge; actor Yılmaz Erdoğan; business representative Şemsi Bayraktar; writer Kürşat Bumin; singer Orhan Gencebay and lawyer Yücel Sayman were notable absentees from the meeting, which was also attended by deputy prime ministers and almost all Cabinet members.
Meanwhile, a group of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, who recently visited Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) leaders on the government’s roadmap for the peace process, are set to visit jailed outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan on Oct. 20.