BDP and PKK are taking advantage of Gezi Park protests, Turkish PM's chief adviser says

BDP and PKK are taking advantage of Gezi Park protests, Turkish PM's chief adviser says

BDP and PKK are taking advantage of Gezi Park protests, Turkish PMs chief adviser says

The chief adviser to the Turkish prime minister and journalist Yalçın Akdoğan slammed Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) latest statements in his column today. DHA photo

The chief adviser to the Turkish prime minister, Yalçın Akdoğan, has accused the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) of taking advantage of the wave of Gezi Park protests to increase pressure on the government regarding the Kurdish peace process.

"The BDP and PKK are trying to convert [the Gezi Park protests] into an opportunity. They intend to put the government under pressure in order to obtain benefits," Akdoğan wrote in his column published June 22 in daily Star.

According Akdoğan, the BDP's attempt is paradoxical as he said most of the groups that participated in the Gezi Park protests were opposed to the peace process. "It is known that the nationalist organizations that were at the [Taksim] Square are staunchly against the process. The fact that the BDP ignores this is very significant," Akdoğan added.

Akdoğan's statements came a day after BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş announced that the first talks of the second round of the process, which consists of negations about legal reforms to be implemented, had taken place with the government. In a development that could compromise the process, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced on June 21 that a military helicopter carrying command staff in a mountainous area in the southeastern Anatolian province of Hakkari was targeted by open fire.

The BDP had been on the frontline during the first week of the Gezi Park protests as its Istanbul deputy, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, personally came to the park and stopped the bulldozers from cutting down the trees. Many BDP supporters were also among the protesters during the demonstrations. However the party started to raise concerns about the peace process, accusing the government of an uncompromising attitude.

Akdoğan wrote that such statements from the BDP aimed at infusing negativity into the process. "Selahattin Demirtaş says the government is trying to block the process. Murat Karayılan [acting PKK leader] says the government is doing everything it can to sabotage it. What if the government said 'The PKK is preparing for war?' Are irresponsible, provocative and aggressive statements allowed for the BDP and PKK?"

The PKK initiated the withdrawal of its militants from Turkish soil on May 8. As the pullout process nears its end, Kurdish politicians have called for the beginning of a second phase that aims to negotiate legal reforms to be implemented.