Turkish voters want peace bid to continue: Deputy PM
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
AFP photoVoters of the June 7 general election openly delivered the message that parties should compromise and form a coalition government and continue the Kurdish peace process, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said.
Kurtulmuş said the vote conveyed the message that the next government “should deal with democratic reforms and continue the [Kurdish] peace process,” referring to the results of the June 7 general election.
Voters openly delivered the message that parties should compromise and form a coalition government, Kurtulmuş told the Ankara bureau chiefs of various national newspapers during a fast-breaking dinner late on July 2.
“The issues that the next government should prioritize should be the new constitution, the election threshold system and the removal of anti-democratic laws left over from the 1980 military coup,” Kurtulmuş said.
AKP to certainly be in next government
The deputy prime minister said the next government would almost certainly be made up of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) allied with either the Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The MHP has put abandoning the peace process as one of its coalition red lines, but Kurtulmuş does not see this as a major concern. “If you look at public opinion polls, you see that 48 percent of MHP voters also want the continuation of the peace process. Nobody in Turkey wants to return to the past. Under all conditions, weapons should be laid down and the peace process should be successfully concluded. The title and the format of the process may change, but it should continue,” he said.
Upcoming coalition government talks will not turn into narrow “horse trading” over the distribution of ministries and government agencies, Kurtulmuş added.
“We’ll continue the government-forming process with sincerity and we hope we’ll get results. But the coalition talks will not turn into horse trading. The talks will not be based on a crude distribution of ministries and government agencies, but based on shaping the future of Turkey,” Kurtulmuş also said.
When reminded that markets, economic circles, the international community and some other non-political actors were advocating an AKP-CHP “grand coalition,” Kurtulmuş said there were “more important parameters.”
“We certainly listen to views that come from outside but what is more important is what our grassroots say. The opinion of the markets is an important parameter but there are other more important parameters for us,” he said, adding that the AKP will ultimately form a government with the party “whose views overlap most on important matters.”
“The picture created on June 7 is not an easy one. Turkey is passing through one of its most difficult political processes,” he stressed.