BDP voices concern over Turkish government's intel draft as Kurdish talks continue

BDP voices concern over Turkish government's intel draft as Kurdish talks continue

Cansu ÇAMLIBEL Hürriyet
BDP voices concern over Turkish governments intel draft as Kurdish talks continue

Pervin Buldan is seen at an interview with Hürriyet’s Cansu Çamlıbel. HÜRRİYET photo

The new law on the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) aims to introduce legal immunity to the agency’s officials negotiating a peace deal with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a prominent Kurdish politician. 

Pervin Buldan, the parliamentary group leader of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said the talks ongoing on İmrali Island with the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan, as well as with PKK’s representatives in the Kandil Mountains, are currently illegal. “If the process is disrupted there is no guarantee of what will happen to us,” she told daily Hürriyet. 

Buldan has been present for all the talks that have taken place between BDP delegations and Öcalan in İmralı, except the very first. 

Buldan also touched on the ongoing clash between the government and the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, arguing that it was evident from past and present developments that the Gülen movement, also known as Cemaat, was against the resolution process. 

“We knew what type of structure the Cemaat had within Turkey and how it acted jointly with the Justice and Development Party [AKP]. They [AKP and Cemaat] did everything together just two years ago. The tortures committed by the AKP and the Cemaat are countless. At the end of the day, there is a process that has been going on for the past year, and this process is not going on with the AKP, but the state,” she said. 

‘Gov’t responsible of legal ground for talks’

“When we look at the process up to now, we put the state on one side and the government on the other side. The talks are taking place between İmralı and the state. The government is responsible for creating the legal framework for that. Of course Hakan Fidan [the head of the MİT] is not holding these talks in the absence of the prime minister’s information,” Buldan added.

She argued the new MİT law aimed to guarantee the state’s ability to talk with the PKK. “I believe that it’s important that an official from the MİT, representing the state, goes and talks with Mr. Öcalan. But the problem is that there are no positive reflections from these talks, because no positive steps are being taken by the government. Is the state’s delegation unable to convince the prime minister? Either the prime minister is too rigid or, as others have been saying, he’s thinking about elections. I think the prime minister isn’t convinced,” she said, warning that the process was now “on a knife edge.” 

Buldan also said the government had recently been trying to set up its own “authoritarian state” by bringing all institutions under its control, referring to the controversial recent Internet and judicial laws.
She said local elections on March 30 would be historic ones, arguing that the votes received and the number of municipalities won by the BDP would show the support for the process. 

“Each municipality we win will strengthen the hand of Mr. Öcalan. He will say ‘this many people are behind me’ during the negotiations,” she said, adding that if fewer municipalities are won then the government might change its mind and decide to finish the process, arguing that there is no constituency supporting the process. 

Buldan recalled that Öcalan had warned that he might “change his mind” over the talks if he did not “receive a green light before the elections.”

Buldan also said the BDP aims to win 150 municipalities at the upcoming local elections, including the metropolitan municipalities of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van. Winning less than 120 would be a failure for the party, she added.