BDP calls on Kurdish members of AKP to quit

BDP calls on Kurdish members of AKP to quit

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
BDP calls on Kurdish members of AKP to quit

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş addresses his lawmakers in Parliament.DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has called on Kurds belonging to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to quit as he slammed the government’s failure to reveal who ordered the errant air raid that killed 34 civilians on the Iraqi border last December.

“How long are you going to be partners of this massacre? We are not saying you should join the BDP. But you should put up an attitude in favor of dignity,” he said in a speech yesterday at his party’s parliamentary group meeting.

Demirtaş condemned Ankara’s bid to acquire armed Predator drones from the United States, charging that the plan indicated the government’s intention to intensify military measures against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “What are they going to do with the armed Predators? They will shed blood. They are bargaining over blood,” he said.

Demirtaş also voiced commitment to dialogue on the Kurdish question, but questioned the sincerity of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks that the government was open to a negotiated settlement.

“We have never closed the door to dialogue because we are truly in favor of a peaceful, democratic and political solution. The prime minister is making appeals for sincerity but we cannot see his own sincerity. All those detentions, oppressions, insults and unfair accusations cannot be the messages that one is supposed to send to a party with which he wants to hold talks,” Demirtaş told reporters.

Talks not ruled out

His remarks came in response to comments that Erdoğan made to journalists accompanying him on a trip to Pakistan. The premier expressed frustration with BDP policies on the Kurdish conflict but signaled that the government had not ruled out talks. “There could be political negotiations again. The BDP is the interlocutor. There is still a thin thread between us. If they are sincere we could sit down and talk,” he said.

“If a thin thread is still there, it is the thread that we have kept in place. The prime minister’s intention of a negotiated settlement is shady,” Demirtaş commented yesterday.

BDP officials have previously said the government should negotiate directly with the outlawed PKK and its jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan, and that the BDP could only help facilitate such a dialogue. But wary of a repetition of the failure of an earlier bid to negotiate with the PKK, the government appears to have dropped that option, with Erdoğan insisting that Ankara would fight the PKK and talk to its “political extensions.”