We will not step back from process: Minister
This close-up shows the point where a flame thrower hit the AKP headquarters in Ankara. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe government will not step back from its democratization efforts, said Hüseyin Çelik in an Ankara press meeting, commenting on a double bomb attack on both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in Ankara and the Justice Ministry building, which resulted in one injury.
“These bombs, these flame throwers, will not hold back the AKP, which represents the nation’s will. They will not hold back the AKP from taking democratic steps and serving the nation,” Çelik said during the meeting, which was also attended by Interior Minister Muammer Güler.
The minister was apparently referring to the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.
“Whenever Turkey tries to solve one of its chronic problems, a gang from inside the state emerges, or illegal organizations that are working for dark powers,” Çelik said. “This is an attack on democracy. It is an attack on the will to find solution.”
Illegal organizations are today realizing what the “Ergenekon gang” used to do in the past, he said, comparing the attackers to the Ergenekon suspects.
Ergenekon is an alleged coup plot case, within the scope of which 275 people have been put on trial. The prosecutors of the case demanded sentences for many of the suspects on March 18, including demands for life sentences for former Chief of Staff İlker Başbuğ and three parliamentary deputies, Mustafa Balbay, Mehmet Haberal and Sinan Aygün.
“Those who are afraid of the dark do not hit the road at night,” said Çelik, while commenting on the determination of the government in the ongoing process.
He also recalled that Turkey was currently preparing for Nevruz, a time when Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is expected to deliver a peace call on March 21.
“However, as you see, the will [to solve the issue] is not liked by some,” Çelik said.
Some media reports have claimed that a written statement carrying the name of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) was left at the scene in front of the ministry.
Police have been continuing operations against the group since it claimed responsibility for the Feb. 1 suicide attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, which killed one person, as well as the attacker, Ecevit Şanlı.