AKP, CHP hopeful on Kurdish meeting as attacks kill 2 troops

AKP, CHP hopeful on Kurdish meeting as attacks kill 2 troops

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AKP, CHP hopeful on Kurdish meeting as attacks kill 2 troops

The Turkish military starts mobilizing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır after two soldiers, who were in a rescue operation, were killed in land mine attacks. DHA photo

Both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) have expressed optimism on the eve of a meeting between CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the CHP’s new proposed initiative on the Kurdish issue.

“I’m hopeful for the meeting. We see that a ground for dialogue has been building, although the language of the politics is very tense. Conciliation can also occur at times when the politics is tense,” the deputy chair of the CHP, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The CHP has prepared a 10-point “road-map” to find a solution for Turkey’s decades-old Kurdish question, and deputy chairs Tanrıkulu and Faruk Loğoğlu submitted it to Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek last week. The proposals suggest establishing a joint Societal Conciliation Commission in Parliament, and a group of “wise men” linked to the parliamentary commission. 

Kılıçdaroğlu will not insist upon any concrete solution to the issue, Tanrıkulu said, instead, he will discuss the possible methods and mechanisms for resolving the problem with Erdoğan. 

The prime minister has said he was not prejudiced, and is ready to listen to the CHP’s proposals. 

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also spoke encouragingly about the meeting, praising the CHP’s move. Then-CHP leader Deniz Baykal had rejected a request for an appointment from the prime minister to discuss a Kurdish initiative in 2009, Bozdağ said yesterday. “The CHP under Kılıçdaroğlu has come to the phase of discussing the [Kurdish] issue; this is very important for us. The [Kurdish] initiative that the AKP launched has obviously led to a change and transformation within the CHP.”
Kılıçdaroğlu had previously said that he would meet with the leaders of all political parties to discuss his party’s proposals. Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu will meet tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) headquarters in Ankara. 

The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has spurned the CHP’s invitation. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said that there was no need for a meeting with the CHP, claiming that the CHP’s effort were an attempt to legitimize terrorism. “Our doors will remain closed to anyone who demands such an appointment,” Bahçeli said.

CHP urges MHP to contribute to the solution

CHP deputy chair Erdoğan Toprak has criticized the MHP’s stance on the issue, and called on Bahçeli to reconsider a possible meeting.

Two soldiers were killed in a mine blast in Diyarbakır yesterday during operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Toprak said. “We don’t want our children, youths and soldiers to die, and we call on all political parties to make a joint effort to put an end to terror and violence. The people of this country have been dying for 30 years, but unfortunately political party leaders have not come together to find a solution up until now. Kılıçdaroğlu is trying to do something that has never been done in the last 30 years.”

Toprak called on Bahçeli “to give up acting with prejudice and to contribute this process,” and said: “If political parties do not come together and find a solution for Turkey’s most important issue, other actors will step in and impose their own solutions. The CHP is aware of this danger and is acting responsibly. We are ready to pay any price to find a solution and to stop our children from dying.”

Two killed in mine explosions, tourist freed

DİYARBAKIR - Doğan News Agency

Two Turkish soldiers were killed yesterday in two consecutive mine explosions, while conducting an operation to rescue a kidnapped British tourist in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Lice district.

James Masami Miyazaki-Roos, the British tourist who was kidnapped by the PKK over the weekend, was freed in the eastern province of Bingöl’s Genç district, Diyarbakır Governor Mustafa Toprak said yesterday. 

The first explosion happened early yesterday as security forces conducted an operation against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who had reportedly kidnapped a British tourist June 2. Thirty-six-year-old special sergeant Abdullah Acıcı was killed in the mine explosion. 

The second explosion took place when another group of security forces were arriving on the scene of the explosion. Thirty-eight-year-old Maj. Ercan Kurt, who was also the gendermarie commander of Lice, was killed in this second explosion.

President Abdullah Gül condemned the killings and gave his condolences to the families of the soldiers and Turkish Armed Forces yesterday. Funeral ceremonies for the slain soldiers will be held today in their hometowns.

The operation had been launched to rescue Miyazaki-Roos, who was kidnapped June 2. The 32-year-old Briton was described as being in good health after his release and was taken to Diyarbakır for questioning about his ordeal. 

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.